February 24th, 2011
CLP gives last minute support for cash-for-cans
THE Opposition has made a late declaration of support for the container deposit scheme which is expected to be passed through Parliament.
THE Opposition yesterday made a late declaration of support for the container deposit scheme which is expected to be passed through Parliament.
The CLP spent most of yesterday's parliamentary debate arguing against the legislation - despite supporting the scheme for almost a decade.
But Opposition Leader Terry Mills said last night they would not oppose the scheme - they were just pushing for more detail.
Opposition backbencher David Tollner supported the law and told parliament he had reservations, but prayed the Government had it right.
He said in a few years of success he could laud the Chief Minister Paul Henderson for it.
Mr Mills suggested it was not likely Mr Henderson would be the Chief Minister in a few years.
Before the Opposition decided to support the law, Mr Henderson told Question Time that the CLP was on the record supporting cash for containers for seven years.
"Now they do not support cash for containers because their eyes are fixed on cash for the Country Liberal Party and the donations they need from business to fund their next election campaign," he said.
"...at the last minute, it is time to walk away from this, sell out to big business, sell out to the multinational industries, roll over and betray the 80 per cent of Territorians who support this."
Mr Mills said they were not opposing but questioning.
Both him and Mr Tollner said did not know what they were voting for because of a lack of detail.
The bill did have the support of Independents Gerry Wood and Alison Anderson and did not need the Country Liberals to pass.
Mr Mills said there was high public support and expectation for the scheme and the "missing ingredient" was detail.
Environment Minister Karl Hampton told parliament the CLP had done a backflip on 'Cash for Containers.
"We know their leadership is up for sale, along with their environmental credibility."
The legislation has created more emotion that more mere empty bottles and cans should create.
The beverage industry began a negative advertising campaign against the scheme with the government responding with advertisements for the it.
Also yesterday Treasurer Delia Lawrie said Coca Cola Amatil executives had told her they would seek out the Country Liberals to help them oppose the Bill if the Government would not dump the legislation.
The CLP and the company had denied the allegation in the NT News yesterday.