Australia's peak recycling industry body has urged Labor not to push into next year the passing of legislation to introduce a 10-cent container recycling scheme in Tasmania.
Labor will attempt to send the legislation to an inquiry in the Legislative Council - which it said would be "short and sharp" - but the move would delay the vote until the resumption of Parliament in 2022.
Environment Minister Roger Jaensch said Tasmania had been advised by other states that it would take at least 12 months to implement the scheme once approved, and delaying the vote would push the start into 2023.
Labor leader Rebecca White last week listed a range of questions the party had about the scheme, including how the government chose the "split responsibility" model, whether it would be best for charities and Tasmanian businesses, and why the government went against the advice of an independent report.
A Legislative Council inquiry would require submissions and various stages of questioning.
Australian Council of Recycling chief executive officer Suzanne Toumbourou said Labor's decision would be "unnecessary and damaging to Tasmania's circular economy future".
"Any further delays to the introduction of a container refund scheme will impede Tasmania's capacity to meet its plastic pollution reduction goals, and unnecessarily hold back the rollout of new jobs in the state's reprocessing industry," she said.
The companies - including James Boag's Brewery's parent company - claim that charities would have more involvement under their scheme.
Both TasRecycle and Labor cited TasCOSS's submission as a reason for an inquiry, after the organisation raised some concerns about the government's chosen model.
But TasCOSS has confirmed it does not support a Legislative Council inquiry, and while it supports a "community producer model" rather than the government's or TasRecycle's model, it is still supportive of the legislation.
"There has been extensive consultation on a container refund scheme and the Tasmanian Government's split-responsibility model provides for charitable, not-for-profit and community organisations to participate and benefit," chief executive officer Adrienne Picone said.
"TasCOSS is keen to see the legislation passed so that implementation of the container refund scheme is not unnecessarily delayed."
Tasmania is following the same model that operates in NSW, and is being established in Victoria. The government plans to have at least 40 refund places set up, ranging from reverse vending machines at shopping centres, to depots.
Boomerang Alliance spokesperson Jeff Angel has been a firm advocate of the government's chosen model, and said evidence from other states was that it would take at least nine months to roll out the required infrastructure.
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"An inquiry could run into February, you have to get submissions, analyse them, hear witnesses, write the report, present it to Parliament, wait for the government's response, possibly redraft legislation if required, reintroduce it to the lower house," he said.
"The intention of the government is to pass it this year, then move to regulations and expressions of interest straight away."
Labor would require the support of at least three independents in the upper house to send the legislation to an inquiry.
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