Delivering Container Refund Scheme that is right for Tasmania

Roger Jaensch, Minister for Environment,

The Tasmanian community has long called for a Container Refund Scheme and the Tasmanian Government is getting on with the job of delivering the best scheme for Tasmania, tabling the Container Refund Scheme Bill in Parliament on Tuesday.

During a period of public consultation earlier this year, 98% of people surveyed stated they were supportive of a scheme in Tasmania. Labor’s plan to refer it to an inquiry will either delay the roll-out of a scheme unnecessarily, or kill the bill entirely.

Our preferred model is a split responsibility scheme that will bring together the beverage industry and the waste, recycling and community sectors to deliver the best scheme for Tasmania.

This model aligns the incentives for the Scheme Coordinator and the Network Operator with the Government’s objectives – the Scheme Coordinator seeks to keep costs down and the Network Operator seeks to maximise containers returned.

There is no evidence the split-responsibility CRS model leads to higher costs per container for the beverage industry.

We’ve carefully examined all CRSs operating in Australia, and some overseas, and remain concerned that schemes entirely controlled by the beverage industry may not work as well, over time.

The split responsibility model is already operating in NSW and the ACT and is being developed in Victoria and will see people receive a 10 cent refund for returning eligible drink containers to designated Refund Points around the State.

Just like schemes operating in other states, Tasmanian charities and community groups will be able to be part of the scheme in a number of ways. They can be involved by collecting containers, receiving donations or operating return points and receiving a handling fee. This ensures that charities and community groups, big and small, have plentiful opportunities to be part of the Scheme, and to benefit from it.

The NSW and Queensland Schemes operate different types of schemes but have both created around 700 new jobs. This clearly suggests that either governance model is equally well placed to create jobs.

LGAT, Charitable Recycling Australia, Waste Management and Resource Recovery Australia, Australian Council of Recycling, Boomerang Alliance, Clean Up Australia Day and other organisations others have also come out in support of the Government’s split responsibility model scheme.

We are confident that our scheme will be convenient for the community, provide opportunities for communities and charities, be good for the environment and maximise the number of containers returned and recycled.

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