We want to give people an incentive to do the right thing and recycle to get rid of the estimated 160 million drink containers that are dropped as litter every year.
Before the March 2015 state election, I visited Coogee Beach where I promised to introduce a container deposit scheme that would significantly reduce litter across the state. This month, I was proud to announce we are delivering on that commitment and will introduce a 10 cent refund container deposit scheme.
Most drink containers between 150mL and three litres will be eligible to be traded in for a refund to get bottles, cans and containers off our streets and beaches, and out of our waterways.
It will be the single largest initiative ever undertaken to reduce litter in NSW and will allow volunteer and sporting groups to raise much-needed funds to continue their great work in our communities.
The next step we need to take is to appoint a working group that will develop draft legislation that will allow us to get the scheme up and running in July 2017.
I have made it one of my priorities as Premier to reduce the volume of litter across the state by 40 per cent by 2020, and this scheme will make a big contribution to reaching that target.
In other news, I visited the state’s Far South Coast with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull where we announced a couple of measures that will allow more tourists to discover that beautiful part of the state.
The Prime Minister and I announced a joint commitment to expand the Port of Eden and redevelop Merimbula Airport. The $44 million port expansion will enable the world’s biggest cruise ships to dock there for the very first time, which will mean Eden will become a new stopover on the journey between Sydney and Melbourne, providing direct access to the region for thousands of local and international visitors.
Merimbula Airport will also undergo a $5.6 million upgrade that will allow larger planes to land there, particularly those flying in from interstate capitals around the country.
These two upgrades will trigger a range of benefits for locals and tourists, reducing passenger congestion and paving the way for a better visitor experience.
Finally, nominations have opened for the 2016 Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards.
Many people across the state have strong links to their homeland and these awards recognise the work of media professionals who keep community groups informed of news and events taking place here, and overseas. If you know someone working for a multicultural media organisation please encourage them to consider submitting their work into one of the 14 award categories, which include best print publication, community television or radio report, and emerging journalist.
Nominations are open until 5pm on Sunday 19 June 2016. More information about the awards, eligibility and past winners can be found by visiting: http://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/awards/premiers_multicultural_media_awards