Page 4711 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017

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those who already use our buses how we can make things even better. Community consultation has become a popular term for governments to use, but here in the ACT consulting the community has had a real impact on what we do and how we do it. It is our community which ultimately makes the ACT such a great place to live, and we should never underestimate the importance of their participation in shaping the work we do for them.

Discussion concluded.

Waste Management and Resource Recovery Amendment Bill 2017

Debate resumed from 21 September 2017, on motion by Ms Fitzharris:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (4.24): From the outset I am going to call this bill for what it is: a tax on beverages and an impost on Canberra businesses in the beverage space which then has the very real potential to negatively impact consumers across the territory. The bill purports to promote the recovery, recycling and re-use of empty beverage containers, but there is nothing in the scheme that encourages re-use and there is a great deal of doubt around whether the incentive of a 10c refund would actually change the recycling habits of Canberrans. However, I will let my colleague Ms Lee focus on this aspect of the legislation.

Members of this place in previous Assemblies have been great advocates for a container deposit scheme, or CDS. It is a scheme that has been in operation in South Australia for many years and it is currently in operation in the Northern Territory. There has also been a relatively recent change in legislation in New South Wales to allow for a CDS to operate over the border, and the bill that is before us today has been modelled on that scheme, in an attempt to gain consistency across jurisdictions. However, there are too many pitfalls and potential failings for the Canberra Liberals to support this bill today. It is the view of the opposition that the introduction of the container deposit scheme will ultimately cost Canberra consumers, not reward them, with a significant burden on small local businesses. The benefits to the environment and the potential to change our recycling habits spruiked by this government are arguable at best.

The bill outlines that the Minister for Transport and City Services will have the power to enter into binding agreements with a scheme coordinator and a network operator. The scheme coordinator is to be responsible for the financial aspects of the scheme and the network operator is to be responsible for the logistics, such as entering into further agreements with collection point operators. It is anticipated that the minister would appoint the same scheme coordinator as in New South Wales. The New South Wales scheme coordinator is Exchange for Change, a joint venture between Asahi, Coopers, Carlton & United Breweries, Lion and Coca-Cola Amatil. The legislation requires beverage producers to report their sales volumes to the scheme coordinator in order for the 10c deposit and an administrative fee to be invoiced to them.

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