Bega district letters to the editor, August 8

Worth the wait: Vanessa Milton and Louise Smith braved the queue to pick up their free trees at the Bega Valley Shire Council giveaway on Friday. Photo: Alana Beitz

Worth the wait: Vanessa Milton and Louise Smith braved the queue to pick up their free trees at the Bega Valley Shire Council giveaway on Friday. Photo: Alana Beitz

Will deposit scheme work?

The Daily Telegraph of August 1 advises that through the “Container Deposit Scheme” (CDS) consumers are about to pay up to $0.20 more for drinks in cans and bottles from December 1, 2017.  Supporting this scheme will surely make many of us feel warm and fuzzy, but will it work?  

South Australia has had a CDS since 1977 but is not the cleanest state in the country. Victoria comes top, having reduced litter by almost 60 per cent over the past eight years.  

Victoria’s approach combines public awareness with convenient infrastructure, identifying litter hot spots and installing appropriate bins to create social norms. 

The 2016 Census data shows that for the Bega Electorate the over 65 age group is virtually double the state average (28.4 v 15.8 per cent).  This age group finds it physically difficult enough to get its drink supplies let alone then needing to sort through the empties and take them to a “reverse vending machine” or collection depot.  

What about our existing recycling bins?  Every ratepayer in the Bega Shire pays an annual fee of $402.50 for “domestic waste management”.  This includes the yellow recycling bin which most diligently use!  How much does the Bega Shire Council propose to reduce its charges for domestic waste management? 

With a focus on bottled water, beer and soft drinks and excluding bottles for wine and spirits this scheme cannot be anything but a direct new tax on the poor and the aged.  With entrepreneurs importing reverse vending machines since 2015, costs will be significant.

It is estimated the cost of a 24-can pack of soft drink or beer could rise up to $4.80 each.  Together with skyrocketing power bills, why is our state government also increasing our cost of living through this container deposit scheme?  

It is ludicrous to think that the elderly of the Bega electorate will be able to “take their empty bottles and cans to more than 500 collection points across the state and more than 800 reverse vending machines located in high foot traffic areas like beaches and sport stadiums!”

Few will be able to readily avail themselves of the refunds, continuing as usual to put these items out into their recycling bin.   The net effect is simply an increase in cost, hurting the poor and aged more than anyone else.  Of course if the 800 reverse vending machines were used as simple bins, then NSW could emulate Victoria!

Chris Young, Tura Beach

Troublesome regimes

When will the US finally rid us of these troublesome regimes: Iran, North Korea and Venezuela? For they have committed unspeakable crimes.

Iran and Venezuela, for example, have outrageously buried US oil under their soil (as did Iraq).

Iran has also dared to pursue its "inalienable right" under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes. Not to mention ungratefully overthrowing the dictator the US imposed on them for 26 years.

North Korea has committed the heinous act of taking steps to deter an attack by the US (having learnt from Iraq). The impudence! And Venezuela, most outrageously of all, has put the interests of its own poor ahead of the interests of US corporations.

What next? The three of them believing they have the right to decide their own economic and political future without US interference? Just where do these countries get off! Clearly, they have a lot to learn about acting in accord with international norms, as decided by the US.

Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and Libya are still taking their punishment for not putting US interests first.

The sooner these three recalcitrant regimes also yield their necks to the US boot, the quicker we and the US can return to praising our joint commitment to peace, freedom and democracy.

Paul Strutynski, Buckajo

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