Clean Up Australia Day Set to Rake in the Litter

The Tasmanian Greens are using Clean Up Australia Day this weekend to call on the Environment Minister Brian Wightman to fulfil his commitment to undertake a cost benefit analysis for a state based container deposit scheme, which was backed by a tripartisan vote in the Lower House last year.

Greens Acting Leader Tim Morris MP said that the failure of the successive COAG meetings to set a time frame for a national CDS demanded immediate action at the state level.

“Clean Up Australia Day is a reminder that the entire House of Assembly agreed last year to support a cost benefit study of a container deposit scheme in Tasmania, if a national scheme was not ‘timely’,” Mr Morris said.

“Implementation of a container deposit scheme at the national level has been at a virtual standstill for several years, so it’s now well beyond the point of being ‘timely’.”

“The Greens will be ramping up pressure on Environment Minister Brian Wightman this year in the hope that he will finally listen to the public and take action.”

“Every year delayed is another mountain of containers dumped into landfill, scattered along our roadsides, or floating around in the sea where they are killing wildlife.”

Mr Morris also acknowledged the many thousands of people who will roll up their sleeves and get involved in making the country tidier during Clean Up Australia Day this weekend.

“We are a long way from eliminating the 500,000 tonnes of rubbish being buried every year in Tasmania, but we are completely committed to leaving Tasmania in a clean state for future generations,” said Mr Morris.

“The imminent state ban on plastic bags is a good example of progress on this issue and hopefully a state based container deposit scheme will be our next step in the right direction.”

“We are not just fighting for this generation, but for health and wellbeing of future generations and for all biodiversity, especially marine and seabird species that are affected by our bad habits.”

“Waiting for the Federal government to act is a lame excuse and we should be joining South Australia and the Northern Territory by introducing a state based system.”

“Minister Wightman needs to remember that the majority of Tasmanians support container deposits, as does the Lower House and the majority of Upper House members. A state-based scheme will stop waste, create jobs and provide revenue for charities and community groups.”

The Greens’ motion passed with tripartite support in the House of Assembly on the 16th May 2012, endorsed the following:

(a) The Environment Minister will take in-principle support for a national scheme to the upcoming Ministerial Council and;

(b) A cost benefit study into a state based scheme will be undertaken if a national container deposit scheme does not eventuate in a timely manner.
Tim Morris MP Acting Greens Leader Saturday, 2 March 2013