Today the NSW Container Deposit Legislation is being debated in the Parliament upper house – the final stage before it becomes law. In his speech, NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman proudly announced the government is on track to deliver a ‘cost-effective, best practice container deposit scheme' in accordance with Premier Baird’s promise - but it’s not.
While we welcome the introduction of the legislation – the Bill needs more work. It has some good features and allows other states to join up. But despite the importance of community access and statewide coverage being acknowledged – there are no concrete measures. Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) were mentioned by the Minister, but Premier Baird’s initial commitment to 800 RVMs has not been reaffirmed.
Did Mike Baird and Mark Speakman cave in to Coles and Woolworths who refuse to provide space to allow for consumer refunds? Without collection points in every major shopping centre across the state, convenience to return containers and obtain the refund for you and every other consumer, will be stymied. Nor will charities be able to benefit from donations via the RVMs.
With your support, we'll keep the pressure on. The Boomerang Alliance is working right now with government and opposition MPs to improve the NSW container deposit legislation for the benefit of the whole community and our environment.
Please find here our suggested amendments to the NSW CDS legislation. These amendments have been provided to the NSW government, ALP and Greens.
We will keep you posted.
Jeff Angel, Convenor and Director
PS: Mark Speakman highlighted that the Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index for 2015-16 showed that beverage litter as a per cent of all litter is continually increasing, now representing 49% of the total volume of litter. Despite spending $180 million on litter abatement, the litter is still making its way into our waterways, making it even more important that we get the NSW container deposit legislation right.