MINISTER FAILS TO RECOGNISE MAITLAND’S RECYCLING NEEDS
Member for Maitland, Jenny Aitchison, has once again called on the Minister for the Environment, Gabrielle Upton, to inform the Maitland electorate where their collection points and reverse vending machines will be located for the Return and Earn container deposit scheme.
Ms Aitchison intends to lodge another Notice of Motion this week in the NSW Parliament condemning the government for failing to recognise the recycling needs of the Maitland electorate.
Last Saturday Ms Aitchison visited Service NSW in East Maitland and was excited to find the ‘secret’ Return and Earn machine. Recent calls to the Minister’s office failed to provide details of the machine and even on the EPA’s website there are no listed collection points for the Maitland electorate.
The ‘secret’ machine is currently not operational and is a donation station which means its the size of a drink vending machine as opposed to a reverse vending machine which are generally the size of two shipping containers. The donation station only accepts cans and plastic bottles - no glass, and users only have the option of donating their recycling to one of a number of “approved” charities.
On January 25 the EPA sent an email to local media promising a machine would be installed in February. This came after Ms Aitchison voiced her concerns that Maitland’s sole over-the-counter collection point had withdrawn from the scheme.
The Minister promised last year that 800 machines would be installed across the State but cannot tell the people of Maitland if and when they will be able to recoup the extra money that they are paying for their beverages.
Quotes attributable to Jenny Aitchison MP
“The Minister has failed miserably and must fast track reverse vending machines for the Maitland electorate.”
“Maitland has almost 80,000 residents and only one small donation station for the whole electorate. This is totally unacceptable.”
“It’s not fair for local residents as they are being left out of pocket for the increased costs they are paying.”
“If the Minister is not prepared to act then the Premier must. Family budgets are slugged enough without feeling the extra pressure of a few dollars on every carton of soft drinks, water and beer without being able to get their money back.”
“The people of Maitland are being short changed by the Berejiklian Government.”
“It appears the Minister is not up to the job and it’s now time for the Premier to intervene.”