NT industry needs CDS certainty, says AFGC

Tuesday, 18 December, 2012

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has commented on the Northern Territory Container Deposit Scheme (CDS), arguing that beverage companies need certainty regarding their ongoing legal obligations.

“Business certainty is essential as we approach the busiest time of the year for the beverage industry,” said Gary Dawson, CEO of the AFGC. “Industry will need to look at its options if the NT Government is unable to provide this certainty.

“The NT CDS has been shown to be a costly scheme. The NT Government has inherited a bad policy that contains numerous flaws in the enabling legislation, continues to give rise to commercial disputes, has significant questions over the scheme’s legal underpinnings and has only increased costs for consumers with questionable environmental benefits.”

Dawson said that only one in four containers were redeemed as part of the Cash for Containers Scheme to June 2012. Most of these were likely to have come from materials already collected in kerbside recycling bins in Darwin and Palmerston, Dawson said.

“The AFGC and our beverage industry members stand ready to work with the NT Government to manage an orderly transition out of the container deposit scheme and replace it with arrangements that will deliver better environmental outcomes at no cost to consumers,” Dawson said.

“At a time when Territorians are facing cost of living pressures, consumers stand to benefit from price reductions as beverage companies will no longer have to pass on the costs of maintaining this expensive CDS. If the scheme is repealed, shoppers can expect to see price reductions in the New Year.”

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