Retailer fury as CDS confusion continues
Less than two weeks until the NSW CDS scheme rolls out, retailers are still frustrated by both the lack of information and collection points.
There is still no map or list available of collection points, despite promises there would be more than 500 collection points across NSW with 85% operational by December 1.
Carlo’s IGA bottle shop licensee Peter Sheridan told the Northern Daily Leader that no-one, including those in the industry, know enough about the scheme despite the levy already being charged.
From November 1, suppliers passed on costs to retailers to raise funfs for the scheme's roll-out on December 1, adding around $4 to the price of a carton of beer.
“We don’t know how many sites, how it is going to be rolled out, or anything – there has been no information or media packages sent through, no advertising and very little coverage in the media.”
After “sitting on his stock” for the past two weeks, he's finally had to pass on price rises to the consumer, despite it being weeks before the scheme officially begins.
“There is an impact on us and consumers. We can’t absorb it, we have to pass it on,” Sheridan said. “The government want their cut but want the consumer to do the work – they can call it a levy, but it is just another tax.”
There are currently no Return & Earn collection points in the Tamworth region, with a Woolworths spokesperson saying “the schedule for Tamworth is progressively being finalised.”
Young is also concerned about whether it is going to have a collection point for empty cans and bottles.
Woolworths Young wants a collection point but has yet to be told by its State management if a station could be located in its car park.
Councils have no information
Donges IGA Young Manager Wendy Silk slammed the scheme saying it has been poorly executed and publicised.
“We are the ones who are seen to be putting the prices up when in fact it is the State Government scheme that has caused this to happen,” she told the Young Witness.
“The problem with what the State Government is doing now is that there has been very little information available to anyone, from retailers to members of the public, I even rang the Council to find out they know about it and they tell me they have no information either.”
Scott Randall from Bellingen Cellars expressed his frustration to the Bellingen Courier: “No one knows where our centre is going to be. The government haven’t thought it out well enough to implement it.'
Randall said he'd been told by a beer company rep that Nambucca is not getting a collection point, but Mackville might.
“But a lot of this is hearsay,” Scott said. “It’s not on anyone’s website yet.”
Towns with more than 1000 residents must have a collection point, unless they fall within a 30km zone of another town that has one.
According to Google Maps, Coffs Harbour and Macksville are both more than 30km from Bellingen, so Bellingen would not fall within their zone. However, it may transpire that nearby Dorrigo would get a collection point and Bellingen residents would have to travel 29.7km to return their bottles and cans to a collection point.
Border towns fear they will lose business
Meanwhile in Albury, retailers are concerned they will lose business to Woodonga, just over the border.
Jos de Bruin, CEO of Master Grocers Australia (MGA) Independent Retailers, believes border retailers will “suffer serious business consequences” as a result of the CDS.
“Independently owned and operated supermarkets and liquor stores will be forced to increase their prices to accommodate the 10c refund and additional logistics costs on drink containers, whether they be bottles or cans and if the consumer can buy those goods cheaper across the border can you blame them?” de Bruin said.
Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe has voiced concerns that the NSW Government is botching the rollout.
"Consumers in rural and regional areas look set to miss out on the much needed collection points as it appears that only half the promised collection points will be ready in time.
"The Minister for the Environment must give consumers across NSW assurances that the collection points will be in place and that rural and regional areas will not be denied the ability to get a refund on their cans and bottles.
"The community wants a container deposit scheme but they still don't know where they will be able to take their bottles and cans for a refund."