Page 4065 - Week 11 - Thursday, 21 September 2017

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

I am very pleased and excited to present today the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Amendment Bill 2017, which will establish a container deposit scheme, or CDS, in the ACT. The bill delivers on the ACT government’s commitment to develop and implement a CDS. Beverage containers are the most prevalent source of litter in our waterways and parks and on our roadsides. The CDS is a positive step forward that encourages the community and the beverage industry to reduce litter and create a cleaner environment.

In addition to the important environmental benefits of the scheme, the community may receive monetary benefits. Local schools, charities, sporting groups and community groups will be able to generate funds by collecting empty cans, bottles and other eligible containers and returning them to a designated collection point to obtain a 10c refund. The CDS will assist the beverage industry in reducing and dealing with the waste generated by beverage product packaging and promote the recovery, re-use and recycling of their empty beverage containers.

Most states and territories now understand that these schemes are a great way to promote the recovery, re-use and recycling of empty beverage containers to keep them out of the litter stream. The territory’s CDS has been developed in close consultation with the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority, who will be introducing a similar scheme in December 2017. Given the geographic locations of the territory and New South Wales, the ACT’s CDS has been designed to enable the community to access refunds for eligible containers across the two jurisdictions seamlessly.

The bill also aligns with the existing CDSs in South Australia and the Northern Territory. It is important that the beverage industry is not negatively impacted by numerous and differing schemes. Government discussions with other states and territories will ensure that all CDS jurisdictions are aligned to reduce confusion for all scheme participants and the community. The CDS will be funded by the beverage industry and delivered by experienced operators in the recycling and beverage industries. As the scheme is rolled out across Canberra, feedback will be sought from the public to ensure effective implementation.

The bill sets out the objectives and framework of the territory’s CDS, including the obligations of beverage suppliers to participate in the scheme. Further guidelines for the scheme will be provided for under regulation. The ACT will, by contract agreement, appoint a scheme coordinator and a network operator that will work together to deliver the scheme on the ground. The role of the scheme coordinator will be very similar to New South Wales’s and will involve managing funding and the administration of the scheme. This includes ensuring community-wide access to collection points and that container recovery targets and refunds are paid for every eligible container. The scheme coordinator will enter into arrangements with beverage suppliers to ensure that funding is available for paying refunds and any necessary handling and administration fees.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video