NT CDL not a ‘magic pudding’

Posted by Josette Dunn on 20th December 2010

Territorians should not be fooled into believing the NT Government’s proposed Cash for Containers legislation is a ‘magic pudding’ for Christmas that won’t cost consumers or government anything, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) said today.

In an open letter to NT Members of Parliament published in the NT News today, AFGC urged political leaders not to vote for the legislation until all costings, analysis and details have been released by the Government.

AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said no-one had seen the seen a business case for the proposed container deposit legislation (CDL), which will increase the cost of beverage containers (cans, bottles, cartons, etc.) by 10 cents plus a handling fee.

“No-one knows what a CDL system means for Territorians – the NT Government has not released a cost-benefit analysis and there’s no information on the potential costs to consumers or Government,” Ms Carnell said.

“Is this the ultimate ‘magic pudding’ for Christmas where nobody pays for the CDL? How can the NT Government pretend that no-one will pay?”

In 2010, Federal, State and Territory Environment Ministers (including from the NT) released a BDA study showing a national CDL would cost a massive $680 million a year to run and only reduce litter by six per cent.

“The Environment Ministers’ own report shows implementing a CDL is definitely not free,” Ms Carnell said.

“There’s a huge cost and Territorians have a right to know what impact the Government’s proposed CDL will have on them. On the current figures, it’s believed CDL will force up the price of a carton of beer by nearly $5,” Ms Carnell said.

“Consumers also have no detail on establishment or infrastructure costs for CDL – this system will significantly increase costs to government, business and the community.

“Industry urges political leaders not to vote for this legislation until all questions have been answered and options investigated.”