MP says cash for cans doesn’t stack up

November 28, 2023 BY

Crushed: Critics of container deposit scheme rollout in Northern Victoria say unclear messaging and poorly prepared sites has impacted the program. Photo: FILE

LAUNCHED on 1 November, the container deposit scheme, or CDS, has seen twenty-one million units returned statewide and more than two-million dollars returned to Victorians.

Sites operating in Bendigo have so far issued $105,000 to customers in exchange for returned containers.

Northern Victoria upper house MP Gaelle Broad said she felt optimistic about the potential of the CDS but raised concerns over poor management and inconsistent messaging.

“They need to step up to ensure this scheme is effective,” Ms Broad said.

Ms Broad said reports from some customers of depots in Northern Victoria had mentioned insufficient cash available for refunds and unclear information around how to return cans.

“At this point there has been inconsistent messaging, so to clarify that would enable the scheme to run more smoothly,” she said.

“It’s got potential but at this point the Government doesn’t seem to be learning from other states.

“It has been a rough start and it’s taken a long time to get to this point and there’s still a lot more facilities that need to be rolled out.”

A spokesperson for the State government said many Victorians had gotten behind the scheme.

“The roll out of Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme has been popular all over the state with more than 1 million containers returned in Bendigo,” the spokesperson said.

According to the spokesperson, how CDS sites are operated and where they are located, falls under the purview of the zone operators.

VISY is the zone operator for Northern Victoria and their catchment includes Bendigo.

To date, two depots have been opened Bendigo, one in Kangaroo Flat and another in East Bendigo.

There is also and over the counter drop off point available at Bendigo Foodshare with limited hours.

However, in Ballarat the scheme launched with seven sites including five reverse-vending-machines which are accessible to customers afterhours.

VISY were approached for comment on when Bendigo can expect to future sites opened but did not respond before publication.