There’s danger in failing to address consequences

April 05, 2018

Many decisions can have unintended consequences, and so can making no attempt to fix them.

Ignoring them is not the answer, but that’s exactly what the NSW Government is doing when it comes to the container deposit scheme.

The NSW Government takes credit for a job well done when releasing data on the amount of recycled material with its regular press releases.

But it sweeps under the carpet the very real impacts it is having on retailers, particularly those so close to the Victorian border.

The NSW Government applauds itself for introducing a recycling scheme while retailers bear the brunt of the complaints relating to price increases on items eligible to be recycled.

It pats itself on the back while, due to those increased costs, shoppers head across the border to save a few extra dollars on their shopping.

Yes, the scheme seems to have reduced littering, but it has also reduced the earning capacity of local retailers.

They’re experiencing a drop in sales and a loss of income, resulting in reduced employment opportunities.

The container deposit scheme — which the NSW Government has nicknamed ‘return and earn’ — is another example of a policy with good intentions but poor execution.

The common thread when we think of the major government policies which have plagued this region is that relevant governments and authorities have been unwilling to both recognise and publicise the negative impacts of their politically driven decisions.

We heard that exact argument from Murray-Darling Basin Plan stakeholders at the Productivity Commission consultation meeting in Deniliquin last week — which is merely a repeat of what they have been saying for the last 10 years.

We’ve also heard the message loud and clear since before local state forests, which sustained a thriving timber industry, were converted into less productive National Parks.

Failing to listen and failing to act could present the NSW Government with even more unintended consequences, which will be delivered at the polls next year. We need more action from the government and stronger representation from our local member. Failure to do so may see him looking for a new career in 12 months’ time.

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