State Government's botched container deposit scheme rollout leaves regional NSW stranded

In Parliament | 28.11.17

Swathes of regional NSW will be without a collection point for the launch of the Berejiklian Government’s much-vaunted earn and return container recycling scheme this week, forcing many people to travel long distances for minimal return. 

According to the Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton’s own figures there will be fewer than half the promised number of collection points up and running by the start of the scheme this Friday. 

Outside Newcastle, Central Coast, Sydney and Wollongong – there are just 9 collection points for the 26 towns of populations between 15,000 and 78,000. 

The roll out of the scheme has become a disaster with Ms Upton promising that there would be 800 reverse vending machines across 500 collection points for the scheme. Today’s figures show it is just 45 reverse vending machines across 236 collection points with no timetable for the rest of the roll out.

Now on the eve of the botched launch, consumers in regional NSW trying to do the right thing will be forced to travel long distances to take their containers to an over the counter service or one of the few reverse vending machines in operation. 

There is no collection point in regional towns and cities such as Maitland, Tweed Heads, Port Macquarie, Orange, Dubbo, Tamworth, Bathurst, Lismore, Goulburn, Cessnock, Armidale, Griffith, Taree, Grafton, Kurri Kurri, Forster and Ballina.

PROMISE 500 collection points

REALITY 236

PROMISE 800 reverse vending machines

REALITY 45

Quotes attributable to Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe MLC 

“Minister Upton had one job which was to launch a scheme that can help reduce litter and enable consumers to recoup the cost – and she has failed miserably. 

“Regional communities will be paying more for every drink but have nowhere to get their refund. 

“Labor is a strong supporter of this scheme but the Minister has completely botched the rollout. Businesses, bottlers and the public will have to pay the price for this Government’s incompetence. 

“People in regional NSW who are trying to do the right thing by the environment are going to have to get in the car and drive long distances to drop off their containers. For many people that will hardly be worth the cost and they will give up.”

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