Motion: Container Deposit System - Introduction
Mrs Armitage (Launceston) - Mr President, almost four years ago I spoke in this Chamber on this very issue. At that time I said I supported Tasmania pursuing a container deposit scheme. I also commended the member for Western Tiers for the motion before us then and I commend him again now for the one he has presented today. My views on container deposit schemes remain unchanged and I believe we should start the conversation about what work is needed to make a container deposit scheme work in Tasmania. Container deposit schemes seem to have been well and truly embraced in South Australia, commencing in 1977, and the Northern Territory which commences in 2012, plus New South Wales has now announced its intention to pursue such a scheme. I understand there would considerable legal work required if Tasmania wanted to pursue this, as it would need to receive an exemption under the federal Mutual Recognition Act of 1992 for it to be valid.
Ms Rattray (Apsley) - There is a template already, isn't there?
Mrs Armitage - The act provides that goods sold in one jurisdiction can be sold in another without having to meet extra requirements. The Northern Territory had to have an exemption under this act for its container deposit scheme to be recognised as valid. As the member for Apsley has said, it would not be that difficult. The Marsden Jacob Associates Commission by the Tasmanian Government looks at what would be involved in setting up such a system in Tasmania. It acknowledges such schemes have been effective in encouraging litter removal and beverage container recycling in South Australia and the Northern Territory and in countries such as Europe and some states in the United States.
We must explore all reasonable strategies to eliminate litter in all its forms. As I said in 2011, if we said that we did not do anything purely because the cost was going to be greater, we would not be doing anything at all. In a state like Tasmania which promotes itself to the world as having a clean image, there is a broad benefit to our economy in finding a way to make a container deposit scheme work. I acknowledge it is not a magic solution for eradicating all litter and we still must do our bit to keep Tasmania clean. I commend the Tasmanian Government for its commitment to work with the other states and territories on littering and recycling and its support for the Keeping Australia Beautiful Tasmania litter education and management programs. I would say to the Government though, let us look at wide container deposit schemes that are working in other states and bring key stakeholders to the table to make it happen here. Clean up Australia founder Ian Kiernan revealed the findings of a Tasmanian rubbish report in mid February this year. Beverage container waste represented 59 per cent of the top 10 rubbish items recorded by volunteers in 2014. That was a 6 per cent increase on the previous year. We cannot let these figures continue to increase and we have to deal with the problem now. I thank the member for Western Tiers for giving us the opportunity to discuss this important issue again and I support the motion.