Tas Container Refunds Bill – more delay?

Environment groups are urging that the forthcoming debate on Tasmania’s drink container refund law progress rapidly through the State Parliament and not suffer further delays.

If there are amendments to be moved we sincerely hope that consensus can be reached very quickly on whether they or other variations are essential. Amendments sponsored by Coca Cola and their lobby group TasRecycle for example to suit their agenda, could justifiably meet with opposition in the Lower House, leading to more delay. The Bill is pretty good as it stands and there needs to be very sound reasons for an amendment, rather than Coke and TasRecycle continuing their political campaign through changes.

We think it is important that the opportunity to play political games is rejected and that the ultimate Scheme Coordinator does not have any links to the political actors who caused so much confusion and misinformation in the lead up to the LegCo debate late last year. We urge all MLCs, including the Labor Party to give amendments, for example those proposed by Coke for their financial benefit, a good, hard look.

A successful Tasmanian CRS will need the full attention of the Scheme and Network Operator managers without links to or influence from partisan beverage companies or failed lobbying campaigns.

The Board of the Scheme Coordinator will need skilled and objective members and the Network Operator the group to deliver the best range of refund points – with both managers fully open to tender. Their primary task is to provide the best possible refund service to consumers (after all it’s the consumers money); protection against fraud; and transparent, accurate reporting of returns. This will also best serve environmental and public participation goals.