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NSW locals refunded $8 million but at what cost?

IN AND OUT: The Opposition claims people in NSW have spent $110 million in higher drink prices and have been refunded $8.3 million through the Return and Earn scheme.
IN AND OUT: The Opposition claims people in NSW have spent $110 million in higher drink prices and have been refunded $8.3 million through the Return and Earn scheme. Trevor Veale

THE NSW Premier admitted the Return and Earn recycling scheme was going through "teething problems” after the Opposition revealed residents were out of pocket by $100 million.

The container deposit scheme started operation on December 1.

Since then, consumers had forked out $110 million in higher drink prices but had only received $8.3 million through 10 cent refunds, according to the Opposition.

"Everyone in NSW is paying more for every drink, but with the Government failing to provide enough refund collection points our collective wallets are $100 million lighter,” Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe MLC said.

"These failures are putting additional cost of living pressures on families across NSW.”

Ms Sharpe accused Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton of hitting the pockets of every consumer in NSW, in particular those in regional areas who have to travel further to find collection points.

"The Minister must explain how long consumers are going to be paying more without the ability to obtain a refund,” she said.

Today, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said "this program had major teething problems and we knew that would be the case”.

The Opposition pointed out several large towns had no collection points 10 weeks after the scheme was rolled out, including Mudgee, Parkes, Narrabri, Kiama (charity donation only), Kurri Kurri, Muswellbrook, Taree, Murwillumbah and Byron Bay.

It missed out Bellingen and Nambucca Heads, which also don't have collection points.

Topics:  gabrielle upton gladys berejiklian nsw government penny sharpe recycling return and earn scheme



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