A GREENS proposal to introduce a drink container deposit scheme in Victoria has been resoundingly defeated in the state’s Upper House.
Legislative council members voted 32-8 on Wednesday afternoon against a bill that would have seen a 10-cent refund apply to cans and bottles in the state from January 1, 2020.
Labor, Liberal and National MPs opposed the measure that sought to match the law which has been in NSW since last December.
The Opposition’s environment spokesman Nick Wakeling said the Coalition rejected the Greens bill because it “inserted a new tax into its legislation”.
“The Liberal Nationals are against new taxes and we are against a container deposit scheme that creates an added cost for Victorians,” Mr Wakeling said.
The Melbourne MP also had veiled criticism for Liberal colleagues who bought in NSW’s container recycling refund program.
“We will continue to monitor the implementation and rollout of the scheme in NSW and see if they can fix all the teething problems and cost blowouts they have had,” Mr Wakeling said.
Greens MLC Nina Springle, who drove the bill, spoke of the NSW problems in parliament on Wednesday.
“Retailers on the Victorian-NSW border have experienced significant drops in revenue and for small businesses, this has impacted negatively on people’s livelihoods,” she said.
Ms Springle said her bill had allowed for a longer lead time than NSW, nearly 18 months, which would have combated the various teething concerns.
She said Victorians wanted a scheme but the “the major parties are happy to let industry drive decisions on environmental outcomes, and to support industry-led mechanisms to address our waste crisis”.