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February 23, 2011


Can new laws or else, said soft drink giant: Govt

THE Territory government has said a multi national soft drink company threatened to help the Opposition crush the container deposit legislation if Labor did not do it themselves.

Yesterday the Government confirmed that at a meeting last year between Coca Cola Amatil and a senior minister, the company "indicated that unless the NT Government abandoned cash for container legislation, they would be approaching the CLP to discuss how they might help them oppose the bill".

The NT News believes the company met with Deputy Chief Minister Delia Lawrie and its representatives told her they would help fund the CLP campaign for the August 2012 election because of their distaste for the scheme.

CCA spokeswoman Sally Loane said senior company executives and local managers met with both the government and the CLP late last year but "no CCA representative made any promise or offer to fund either the CLP or the ALP in the forthcoming election campaign".

In NT Parliament yesterday Opposition Manager of Government Business John Elferink ridiculed the situation, saying the government was spreading lies about Coca Cola funding their election campaign.

"The Henderson Government Minister making these outrageous and false allegations should have the courage to come forward and be identified," he said.

"This is just another disgraceful Labor Party smear campaign."

The container deposit legislation is being debated in Parliament and is expected to be voted on tomorrow .

The government has the numbers to pass it with the support of Independent Gerry Wood.

Chief Minister Paul Henderson said the CLP needed to state its position on the legislation having said it had supported such a scheme.

"But now the race is on to raise $1.5 million to take the CLP leadership," he said.

"Will they be more interested in Cash for Country Liberals than Cash for Containers?"

CLP environment spokesman, Peter Chandler, who visited New Zealand recently to look at an alternative scheme, said he he did not know of any meeting between Coca Cola and the CLP.

The CLP has not announced its position on the legislation, although it says it supports a container recycling scheme, just not this one.

"CLP is very supportive of a a CDS but the model proposed by government is a model we have not seen, it is like being asked to buy a new car without being able to lift the bonnet and check out the engine," Mr Chandler said.


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