Ros SPENCE (Kalkallo – Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Community Sport, Minister for Carers and Volunteers) (10:29): Today I rise to congratulate all those in my community who are keenly supporting the container deposit scheme. Since the launch of the CDS locals in my community have jumped on the opportunity to increase recycling, reduce litter and earn some cash for themselves, their communities and charities, with the reverse vending machine at Craigieburn Central being the ninth most used site across all of metropolitan Melbourne. It is terrific to see the enthusiasm around this initiative and the positive change it makes to the environment and the community.

Across the state Victorians have returned more than 220 million containers, which amounts to $22 million back into the pockets of families, while in my electorate there have been 5.7 million containers returned, which equates to $570,000 invested right back into our community through refunds and donations.

A number of local organisations have already signed up to receive donations as part of this scheme, meaning club members, volunteers and the general public can make a contribution to an organisation of their choice. These organisations include the VICSES Craigieburn unit, Craigieburn Little Athletics, Craigieburn Falcons, Merrifield Panthers Sporting Association, Wallan Football and Netball Club and Second Chance Animal Rescue. I am sure that more clubs will sign up and join this program as it continues to grow.

Locals can return their containers at several sites across Craigieburn and Wallan, and I thank both Tomra and Visy for operating these refund points. I encourage all Kalkallo residents and community organisations to get on board the CDS and bring more of these environmental and financial benefits to our community.