The Australian Greens have today called on Prime Minister Rudd to immediately reinstate the popular "cash-for-containers" recycling scheme in the Northern Territory after it was pulled down by legal action from beverage corporations including Coca-Cola.
"Coca-Cola, a giant multinational, has used its corporate lobbying power and deep pockets to put shareholders' profits before people, local jobs, and the environment - dismantling container recycling in the NT simply because they are obsessed with blocking a national scheme," said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, national spokesperson on waste and recycling.
The NT Government is currently propping up the scheme financially but this interim measure will reportedly run out on August 13th, according to the Katherine Times.
"After my visit to the NT last year it's clear Territorians support this recycling rewards scheme and local businesses have invested in infrastructure and jobs but this is all under threat after the actions of Coca-Cola," Senator Whish-Wilson continued.
"Coca-Cola will not stop us in the NT from finding common-sense, job-creating ways to solve our environmental problems," said Warren H. Williams, Greens Senate candidate for the Northern Territory.
"I understand this decision is sitting on the Prime Minister's desk and I'm asking Mr. Rudd to stand up for communities and the environment in the NT, not support multi-national corporations like Coca-Cola," Mr. Williams concluded.
A final decision on a national container deposit legislation is currently hanging in the balance and was not resolved prior to the recent Labor leadership spill.
"We have a historic opportunity this year, after a decade long battle, to bring in nationwide Container Deposit Legislation (CDL) with a decision from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) still possible despite the upheaval in the Government and ministries," Senator Whish-Wilson continued.
"I'm calling on Prime Minister Rudd to show leadership and publicly state his support for a national CDL scheme, delivering for the people of Australia, not the self-interest of bad corporate citizens like Coca-Cola.
"We can still beat Coke and deliver a national recycling solution in 2013," Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.