Senate debates

Monday, 7 December 2020


Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020, Recycling and Waste Reduction (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2020, Recycling and Waste Reduction Charges (General) Bill 2020, Recycling and Waste Reduction Charges (Customs) Bill 2020, Recycling and Waste Reduction Charges (Excise) Bill 2020; In Committee

9:37 pm

Photo of Peter Whish-WilsonPeter Whish-Wilson (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—In respect of the Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020, I move Greens amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 1043 revised:

(1) Clause 67, page 68 (after line 21), after subclause (1), insert:

First priority list must include plastic packaging

(1A) The first Minister's priority list prepared after the commencement of this section must include plastic packaging in the list of products referred to in paragraph (1) (a), and set out information as required under paragraphs (1) (b), (c) and (d) in relation to plastic packaging.

(1B) To avoid doubt, subsection (1A) does not prevent the first Minister's priority list from including products other than plastic packaging.

(2) Clause 185, page 183 (line 10), omit "a review", substitute "an independent review".

These amendments put plastic packaging on the next priority list. So, once this legislation is passed tonight, the minister can go through a process where they can put any packaging stream on a priority list. When it's on a priority list, what is different about it is that the minister can name and shame an organisation, a company or a member of the Packaging Covenant for not meeting their targets. Right now, I'd rather see a mandatory scheme that provides penalties for businesses that don't meet targets. But this allows the minister to stand up in parliament, under quite restrictive conditions, may I say, and name and shame a business that doesn't do the right thing. There are a number of free riders in the packaging industry. That's why they've never come anywhere close to achieving their targets. There are a lot of businesses that actually need a bit of a gee-up. This allows the minister to put them on a priority list, which essentially puts them on notice.

It's pretty straightforward. We want to mandate tonight having plastic packaging put on that priority list. It's kind of a halfway house between a voluntary scheme and a mandatory scheme. It says, 'You're applying for voluntary product stewardship accreditation, but you're on the priority list now. You've got 12 months to show some progress; otherwise, the minister can go into the chamber and name the companies that are free-riding and causing problems.' I ask the Senate to support this simple, logical motion that helps to fix the problem.


No comments