‘Cash for containers’ hurting Territory small business and consumers
Thursday, 28 February 2013 08:21

 Northern Territory small business retailers today joined the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) in urging the Mills Government to stand up for local retailers and Territory consumers and scrap the failed drink container tax.

AFGC CEO Mr Gary Dawson said that the drink container tax introduced by the previous ALP Government had increased the price of beverages for all Territorians at a time when cost of living pressures were skyrocketing.

 “The ‘cash for containers’ scheme has seen much more than 10 cents added to the price of many juices, milks, soft drinks, water, wine and beer, because the public has to pay not only for the deposit but also for the costs of running the scheme,” said Mr Dawson.

 “Further, the Government’s own published results show that more than two-thirds of drink containers sold into the Territory have not been returned and are still ending up in landfill or as litter. For all the expense and inconvenience, the scheme is clearly not delivering for the environment.”

 “Territorians are currently paying for a scheme that increases their grocery bills and heaps inconvenience on all families, most of whom were already recycling their ‘empties’ and doing the right thing through their kerbside recycling bins. Business continues to argue in favour of efficient alternatives that do not cost Territory consumers or businesses,” Mr Dawson said.

 Ms Faye Hartley, President of the Liquor Stores Association NT Inc. and owner of the Stuart Park Corner Store, supported the AFGC’s comments, stating, “With the cost of power, water, wages and other bills going up so dramatically, the drink container tax in the Territory has been the last thing small business needed.”

 “Since ‘cash for containers’ was introduced, customers have had to pay more for their drinks and local retailers are hurting.   Liquor stores support recycling, but we urge the Mills Government to support a more efficient alternative and give small businesses like ours a break.”

 “Our members call on the Mills Government to stand up for Territory consumers and small business and do what it can to alleviate cost of living pressures by endorsing an efficient and effective alternative to the failed ‘cash for containers’ experiment of the previous government,” Ms Hartley concluded.

 -ENDS-

 For more information contact: James Mathews 0407 416 002