Greg wants ‘money back’ to help solve litter problem

Greg Hall

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JANUARY 2016 | Marguerite McNeill

THE INCIDENCE of rubbish tossed out onto roadways annoys Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall so much that he has been lobbying for years to find a way that will make us all help to clean it up.

Mr Hall believes that Tasmania’s Clean Green status is being hidden behind the far less worthy image as the most litter strewn state in the nation.

Many of us will remember the days when picking up empty drink bottles and cans was a handy way of making a bit of pocket money.

In the 60’s, refunds on containers could be collected at milk bars. Then it became quite a serious business proposition when a bag full was taken to the recycling yard.

Some older people made a business out of collecting the receptacles. And the man at the yard was everybody’s best friend when he doled out the cash.

Nowadays, people in Tassie don’t get any money for picking up empty containers. Somewhere in the past few decades the collection scheme changed and the Government of today reckons that the cost of running it is just too dear.

In today’s world, a lot of thoughtless people just toss those unwanted items out the window and our Tasmanian landscape is being despoiled by tonnes of unsightly litter.

Mr Hall has been lobbying for the introduction of a Container Deposit Scheme for Tasmania since initiating the debate in Government four years ago and is appalled by the figures of the Keep Australia Beautiful campaign that show a 24 percent increase in littering in Tasmania since 2005.

He welcomed the article in last month’s Meander Valley Gazette prompted by Simon Williams’ concern about litter and the visual image of roadside litter that brought the ugly truth into the public eye.

“I am a keen road cyclist,” Mr Hall said.

“So I do get the opportunity to have a good look at just what is on the sides of the roads. And it is a horror show.”

Concerned by the apparent apathy of Government, Mr Hall believes that the introduction of a Container Deposit Scheme for Tasmania is long overdue.

He cited the success of South Australia’s container deposit scheme that after years of operation now sees almost 80 percent of all containers sold being returned.

The Northern Territory’s newer scheme is also gaining momentum with more than 50 percent of containers returned.

New South Wales plans to have the scheme up and running by 2017 and Queensland will follow soon after.

Mr Hall believes it is time Tasmania added its name to the list.

He believes that as well as reducing the incidence of littering, a container deposit scheme would provide a happy source of income to many people and organisations within the state.

  Mike Moores