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June 25, 2009

Herald Sun

Brumby Government halts Greens law to reintroduce bottle deposit system

CHILDREN'S dreams of collecting bottles and cans for extra pocket money have been dashed by the State Government.

It refused to debate legislation to bring back the 10c deposit on drink containers.

In a dramatic late night intervention, the Government stopped the first Greens private member's Bill to pass a House in the Victorian Parliament.

In a major poke in the eye for the Government's environmental credentials, Greens MP Colleen Hartland had got the backing of the Coalition to bring back the old deposit system for bottles and cans.

Ms Hartland said the return of the container deposit legislation could have saved $15.2 million a year for ratepayers.

The financial incentive to recycle was also expected to decrease litter by up to 15 per cent.

Ms Hartland claimed the Government blocked debate in the Lower House on a legal technicality because it did not have the courage to enter into an environmental debate with the Greens.

"But this campaign came from the community," she said.

"It remains a community-supported campaign - 94 per cent of Victorians support a container deposit system, and now the Legislative Council of the Victorian Parliament also supports it.

"The Government should understand how damaging it is to them to oppose a move which is supported throughout the community."

Immediately after the Bill was passed in the Upper House, the Government quashed the Bill on constitutional grounds in the Labor-dominated Lower House.


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