Container Deposit Scheme:
Pending Mutual Recognition Federal Court Case
Coca-Cola Amatil, Schweppes Australia and Lion Pty Ltd have filed proceedings in the Federal Court challenging the legal validity of the Northern Territory’s Container Deposit Scheme. They argue that the container approval requirements of the Environment Protection (Beverage Containers and Plastic Bags) Act 2011 are in breach of the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth) and the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (Cth). They are seeking a declaration from the Court that they can sell beverages in regulated containers in the Northern Territory from 4 January 2013 without the need for those containers to be approved.
A directions hearing was heard before Justice Griffiths in the Federal Court in Sydney on 20 December 2012 and the matter was set down for a one day hearing on 19 February 2013.
An application for a permanent exemption from the Mutual Recognition Act and Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act is being prepared. A consultation Regulatory Impact Statement was released for a one month consultation period, expiring early December 2012. A decision RIS is being developed for submission to the Office of Best Practice Regulation for approval for circulation to the Standing Council on Environment and Water and subsequently, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).