After months of government lobbying, MGA says it has persuaded the NSW government to save the livelihoods of many NSW retailers.
Following the new NSW Container Deposit Scheme (CDS), MGA says shoppers of packaged beverages who live near the Victoria/NSW border are crossing the border to buy drinks and other shopping there instead of at local retailers – then cashing in by depositing the discarded bottles and containers in their own state.
MGA says that this not only has an effect on the sales of packaged beverages for the NSW border stores, but also that many independent stores are reporting business losses of more than 20 per cent. These losses are compounded by the fact that the ‘return and earn’ machines are placed in large supermarket car parks and, in return for bottles and cartons, supermarkets are giving recyclers vouchers to shop in the larger supermarket, too.
After pressure from MGA and other parties, including the NSW Small Business Commissioner, CEO of MGA Jos de Bruin says the NSW government has promised to help with temporary assistance for affected businesses. There will be more updates in the future.
“We welcome the NSW government temporary-assistance package that will help cross-border small retailers, whose businesses would be seriously damaged by the CDS,” Mr de Buin said.
“On behalf of NSW independent retailers and bottle shops, we welcome these developments. Congratulations must also go to Bob Matthews, an independent retailer, and his supporters who led the crusade for government assistance to combat the enormous losses he and other retailers were facing.
“We fully understand and support the environmental benefits of the CDS scheme, but we intend to continue pressing the NSW government for a CDS scheme that is fair and equitable for all retailers.”