NSW government agrees to help traders along the Murray River hurting due to container deposit scheme

Campaign heard: IGA grocers Bob Mathews, Gary Evans and Brian and Craig Waldron during their protest to NSW cabinet ministers in Albury last year.
Campaign heard: IGA grocers Bob Mathews, Gary Evans and Brian and Craig Waldron during their protest to NSW cabinet ministers in Albury last year.

BEVERAGE sellers north of the Murray River suffering revenue losses due to NSW’s container deposit scheme have had a win.

The state government will provide compensation to independent retailers who can show they have been left out of pocket by the 10-cent impost on bottles and cans.

The move follows a campaign by Border IGA supermarket owners, which began before the scheme was introduced on December 1 last year.

The grocers argued they would lose sales to Victoria where beverages would be cheaper as that state did not have a deposit scheme.

Member for Albury Greg Aplin said the aid followed members of the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal investigating the matter and speaking to southern Riverina traders.

Under the deal, independent retailers, IGAs and bottle shops largely, will be able to apply for two lump sums as part of what’s been called a transition assistance program.

Careful eye: Deputy Premier John Barilaro looks over to the median strip in Dean Street, Albury, when protesters from IGA supermarkets made their dissatisfaction with the container deposit scheme known to the NSW Cabinet.

Careful eye: Deputy Premier John Barilaro looks over to the median strip in Dean Street, Albury, when protesters from IGA supermarkets made their dissatisfaction with the container deposit scheme known to the NSW Cabinet.

The amounts paid will be subject to proving year-on-year losses in volume and revenue.

The first payment is likely to be made by August 31.

The compensation will be limited to vendors within 80-kilometres of the border.

The move comes on the eve of Deputy Premier and Small Business Minister John Barilaro visiting Albury on Tuesday.

“It is important that we have been able to deliver relief so we can keep these businesses competitive and sustainable under the CDS,” Mr Barilaro said.

Mr Aplin expects Mr Barilaro will meet some affected traders during his Albury stop-off.

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