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Update on Containers for Change

May 13, 2021

Hon. MAJ SCANLON (Gaven—ALP)(Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs) (9.53 am): There is a recycling revolution happening right
now in Queensland. I am pleased to update the House that since the Palaszczuk government
introduced the Containers for Change scheme two years ago four billion containers have been diverted
from landfill. With 10 cents for every container, that is $400 million right back into the pockets of
community groups, charities and individuals. That is 700 jobs at facilities right across Queensland—
from the south-east to the central west, the far north to Toowoomba—being supported as part of our
economic recovery plan.

This includes at Coorparoo in the electorate of Greenslopes, where I joined the member last
week to open a new drive-through facility for families to drop their bottles and cans. There, six new jobs
will be created, including jobs for members of local community group Stepping Stone. As a community
group focused on helping people with a mental illness rebuild their lives, two members will now have
meaningful employment, helping make a positive change for their community and for themselves.
Speaking with one of their members—Leslie—she said an opportunity like this would give members a
purpose for living.

Thanks to this new facility and the advocacy of the member for Greenslopes, bottles will no longer
end up in Norman Creek and, instead, we are already seeing 10,000 bottles recycled at the facility each
day. That is just one of three new facilities opened up in just the last fortnight. In Springfield, the member
for Jordan opened a new location at the local shopping centre so shoppers can swap their containers
while they head to the supermarket. While in Mackay, the member for Mackay opened up a brand new
facility after locals received $6.3 million in refunds, returning more than 63 million containers just last
year.

It is clear to see that Queenslanders back a government that backs the environment and jobs.
Even in Longreach, where I had the pleasure of meeting the Outwest Container Exchange team, local
residents like Scotty have helped to collect five million containers through their depot. Thanks to the
efforts of all Queenslanders, there has been a 54 per cent decrease in beverage litter—but we will not
stop there. Later this year Queenslanders will embark on an ambitious ban of single-use plastics. We
have just launched our Plastic Free Places in Central Queensland, where I joined the member for
Rockhampton. Having recently visited Cedar Park Fish & Chips in Keppel with the member for Keppel,
I know that cafes and restaurants are already gearing up. There is plenty of work happening and plenty
more to be done.

The Palaszczuk government will continue to invest in protecting our environment and creating
jobs, with almost $1 billion invested just this year. We will help build renewable energy hubs including
Australia’s largest solar farm. We have set a 50 per cent renewables target by 2030 and a net zero
emissions target by 2050. It is this government that has a plan for economic recovery through
investment in jobs while protecting our environment.