Minister responds to LNP criticism of recycling scheme
QUEENSLAND Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch has responded to the LNP's criticism of the State Government's "botched" rollout of the Container Refund Scheme.
Yesterday the LNP slammed the Government for not holding contractors to account for several issues reported about recycling facilities across Queensland.
Ms Enoch says the criticism was simply "more scaremongering" from the LNP.
"The LNP is playing a dangerous game, each time they trash the scheme, they trash the efforts of small businesses and community groups who are working so hard," she said.
"Already these efforts have produced over 600 new jobs, and Containers for Change has received over 220 million containers back in the first 100 days.
"I refuse to trash the many small businesses and community groups whose efforts have provided many benefits to the Sunshine Coast, including employment and fundraising opportunities for charities, communities groups and schools."
Last month Ms Enoch visited Sunshine Beach State High School, one of two schools on the Coast to take park in a pilot program operated by the Parents and Citizens Association, and she said students told them how the scheme allowed them to fundraise for their school.
She says it's "appalling that the LNP are trying to score cheap political points" on the scheme.
"More than 10 million containers have been returned on the Sunshine Coast since the scheme started, and the scheme has created more than 40 local jobs," Ms Enoch said.
"What the LNP have also failed to mention is that Queensland's container refund scheme is out-performing NSW's scheme - in the first 100 days of the scheme in Queensland more than 220 million containers had been returned, compared to NSW which had about 150 million.
"This scheme has been in place for only three months and will continue to grow as more Queenslanders get involved."
Much of the criticism from members of the public came from not being able to access bags at several Envirobank depots.
Under the scheme, operators are not required to provide bags to customers.
Ms Enoch said people had taken Envirobank bags to use for their own purposes instead of just using them within the scheme.
She said Envirobank was addressing the issue, with a new shipment of bags delivered last week which was expected to reduce shortages.
The locations of the authorised Containers for Change refund points were chosen by operators themselves, based on their knowledge of local communities and economies," Ms Enoch said.
There are 23 bag drop-off points and three depots on the Sunshine Coast.