Warning over hip-pocket cost of container tax
- Herald Sun
- June 06, 2013
A NEW green scheme that would push up shopping bills by $300 a year is being examined by Victoria’s environmental chiefs.
Sustainability Victoria is assessing options for a container deposit system to refund 10c for each bottle or can people take to collection points.
Its work would be used in the push for a federally instigated recycling scheme, which Premier Denis Napthine strongly backed.
Food and Grocery Council chief executive Gary Dawson slammed plans for a “container tax” he said would drive up prices of most canned and bottled goods by up to 20c an item.
“It is hard to believe that the Victorian Government is even considering a green tax that could put Victorians out of jobs and cost the average family in excess of $300 a year,
when the current recycling system is among the world’s best,” he said.
While this morning, Opposition scrutiny of government spokesman Martin Pakula slammed the idea.
“How slugging families more for their groceries is a priority for Denis Napthine is anyone’s guess,” he said.
“Families can ill afford a further hit on their hip pocket from a government that has taken the axe to health and education.”
Former premier Ted Baillieu retreated from a Victoria-only scheme last year, which critics said would add more to family grocery bills than the carbon tax.
But Dr Napthine told the Herald Sun the concept was still on the agenda.
“I support a container deposit scheme, but it will only be effective if it’s Australia-wide,” he said last night.
“I know the South Australian scheme as a stand-alone scheme has worked; I live right on the border and when you go into South Australia the road sides are clean, the streets are clean.”
A cost and regulatory impact report on a national system is due to be handed to state and federal environment ministers within weeks.
The Food and Grocery Council says a recently established, trouble-plagued Northern Territory deposit scheme saw 20c added to each bottle or can, which meant a slab of soft drink or beer had risen by about $4.80.
Green groups say the council’s figures are based on the NT system that is poorly set up and distorted by multinational drinks companies.
Victorian Greens MP Colleen Hartland said that, apart from environmental benefits of more recycling, positives included fundraising options for “girl guides, scouts and sporting groups”.
“Would you throw away 10c?” she said.
Councils have also complained about the costs of the scheme, because their kerbside waste collection would be less cost-effective.
This could drive up waste costs that are passed on to ratepayers.