Gabrielle Upton: The Grinch Who Stole Rural Christmas

With people having to pay more for their groceries this December because of a flawed container deposit scheme, Gabrielle Upton will be known as the Grinch who stole Christmas.

Robert Borsak MLC

Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MLC Robert Borsak today branded Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton as the Grinch who stole Christmas from rural New South Wales over her failed container deposit scheme.

“Minister Gabrielle Upton appears to have a reverse ‘Midas touch’ – everything she touches as Minister doesn’t turn to gold, it turns to muck,” Mr Borsak said.

“Families across rural new South Wales have been paying more for their shopping since November 1 only to find out this week before the December 1 rollout of the container deposit scheme that they won’t be able to access it.

“As people in the bush do their shopping in December, Minister Gabrielle Upton will be known as the Grinch who stole Christmas from rural New South Wales. That’s because she’s the reason they’re paying more for staples of the Christmas season.

“As of 4:00pm on November 29, the Government's own online map of the scheme shows 223 deposit locations in Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and the coast, and only 27 locations in the rest of rural New South Wales.

“I do note that the Government is doing something sneaky in updating the online map as they go. If this scheme was so good, we’d have the full details now.

“Policy documents released earlier this year show that there will supposedly be 500 collection points available, but these maps only show 250.

“People won’t receive cash reimbursements for cans and bottles collected, but instead will receive shopping vouchers for Woolworths and other major businesses.

“Small businesses have been overlooked for obtaining collection point machines in favour of major supermarkets.

“Only a limited range of cans and bottles will be accepted under this scheme. Also, any items that are either crushed or have the labels removed will be rejected.

“Something as simple as a dent or scratch could make a can or bottle ineligible for the 10 cent refund.

“What the Government has done is taken a good idea and turned it into a farce.

“This is another blunder by this city-focused Liberal Party Government, and it appears that the Nationals have yet again been either unwilling or unable to make sure the bush gets its fair share.”

The NSW Government’s promise for 500 collection points can be found here:

Download Robert Borsak's press release here.