Latest News from Mayor Kathy Sajowitz - Thursday 9 November 2017

It was interesting to learn that NSW is the only state not to have adopted legislation to ban “one use plastic bags”. The legislation implemented in other states addresses the issue of plastic pollution which contributes to seventy per cent of the pollution in our oceans and rivers and creeks. Over ninety per cent of marine life now has plastic in their systems so plastic is beginning to enter the food chain, this is very concerning. Sixty one million plastic bags are littered in NSW every year, this is astounding. We can all do a little by refusing plastic bags in favor of reusable shopping bags.

Some may have noticed the recent price increase when purchasing soft drinks or alcohol in cans or bottles.  The implementation of the Container Deposit Scheme has now commenced in NSW with retailers of these products seeing a price increase from November 1 which is naturally being passed on to the consumer. However from December 1 the consumer will be able to claim a refund of 10c per container. The location of Reverse Vending Machines (RVM’s) enabling the refund has yet to be decided, but Oberon is guaranteed to have a collection point. Unlike previous recycling initiatives cans cannot be crushed and weighed but must be placed individually into the RVM’s scanned and accepted before the refund is issued. No cash will be distributed from these machines. The public will be offered three refund options – donation of the 10c to a nominated charity linked to the machines, a voucher can be issued and redeemed at a designated store or the refund paid directly to a nominated bank account. Not all containers are eligible for refund. PET, HDPE, some glass, aluminium, steel and liquid paperboard containers are fine. But glass wine and spirit containers are not eligible. It appears that unless the machine can scan a barcode, containers will be rejected. Opportunities are available for schools sporting groups to “return and earn” but not sure how this would work as feeding containers into a machine one at a time for scanning appears to be labour intensive. I am sure more information will come to hand in the near future as to precisely how this scheme will work overall.  The aim of the scheme is good, to reduce container litter in the environment along roadsides and creeks etc. I is also envisioned the scheme will reduce landfill.

It was a pleasure to attend the RSL Clubs NSW Central West Regional Meeting Official dinner held in Oberon on Saturday. I must offer congratulations to Peter Price and his team for showcasing Oberon so well. I spoke with guests at every table who were here for the weekend and all were impressed with Oberon and the hospitality shown to them by the community. Many stated they would be coming back to further explore the area.

Consultation sessions will soon take place to inform the community about the Oberon Sewer Upgrade project, this is a major long term upgrade of the sewer system and the first community meeting will focus on the “East Oberon” component of the project. You will soon receive the first of a series of newsletters through the mail advising details of the project and community engagement meetings. I urge you all to come along to the scheduled meetings enabling fully informed discussion and comment.