STATE government compensation for the 10-cent drink container scheme should go to bottle and can vendors based on proximity to the Murray River, the NSW Business Chamber says.
It has put a submission pushing for such a deal to the IPART investigation into the rollout of the scheme.
The chamber’s Murray-Riverina manager Andrew Cottrill says after speaking to small retailers from Wentworth to Albury some form of redress is vital due to sales losses tied to Victoria not having a 10-cent refund.
“We’ve proposed that to IPART and we’ll discuss that and other compensation schemes with the Small Business Commissioner’s office on Thursday,” he said.
“We’re suggesting that they could get up to 100 per cent of the rebate back on the container deposit scheme charge when they’re within a certain region on the Border.
“You would have to look at sales in the preceding months of the scheme and the sales in the months after the scheme and they would have to show a precipitous drop-off in profits or sales.”
In its submission, the chamber argues any compensation would be low-cost compared to other recycling spending.
“The chamber estimates a robust scheme that could reasonably compensate businesses along the NSW-Victorian border could be applied at a cost of less than $1 million per annum,” it states.
“This is a relatively small cost in the context of the $47 million rescue package to deal with China’s ban on imported recyclables.”
But father and son Corowa IGA grocers Brian and Craig Waldron would prefer a buffer zone making NSW border towns exempt from the scheme, as Albury MLA Greg Aplin would like.
“I think there should be a buffer zone, that would be the easiest or simplest way, instead of trying to prove figures one way or another,” Brian Waldron said.
“Suppliers would know the stores in Albury or Corowa that are exempt.”
Craig Waldron added “compensation is only a Band-Aid fix really”.
Since the scheme began work hours for six to seven casual staff at the Corowa supermarket have been cut due to falls in drink sales income.