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July 11, 2010

Cowra Community News

Councils welcome movement on container deposit law

THE Local government and Shires’ Association and the Boomerang Alliance have congratulated federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, on his commitment to drafting a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for national container deposit legislation (CDL).

The two peak local government and environment bodies also reiterated the importance of having a central role in the process.

The announcement to develop a RIS came in a meeting of the Ministers of the Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) early last week.

“In developing the RIS, it’s crucial that local government is recognised as a legitimate sphere of government and member of EPHC,” says Shires’ Association president, Bruce Miller.

“We’re one of the key players in the recycling industry, so it’s crucial we’re included in this important process.

“In addition to this, the government needs to ensure the process is conducted in an open and transparent manner,” he says.

Local Government Association president, Genia McCaffery, says: “For years there’s been so much procrastination and delay in introducing container deposit legislation, so we’re relieved that we finally have a Minister who is willing to listen and take a positive step forward.

“We urge the government to take a new and fresh approach when examining the costs and benefits associated with container deposits and refunds, and dispel the many myths surrounding it.

“A huge misconception is that introducing CDL will have a negative impact on councils – that it’ll somehow undermine kerbside recycling, or will bring about massive establishment costs.

“This couldn’t be further from the truth. Councils have always been very supportive of introducing this scheme that is not only successful globally in places like the USA, Canada and Europe – but also right here in South Australia.

“Container deposit legislation will bring a range of environmental benefits, including a reduction in pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and material returned to landfill,” says Cr McCaffery.

Jeff Angel, Director of Total Environment Centre director, Jeff Angel, says: “We won’t tolerate the previous behind-the-scenes control by a shadowy bureaucratic group – it’s a recipe for delay and manipulation.

“The RIS must be able to balance the full spectrum of benefits and costs and the best way to achieve this is for local government and environment groups to be on the key RIS management group.”

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