From Premier’s Desk


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In the past week I was at Coogee Beach to announce that if re-elected, the Baird Government will introduce reverse vending machines across NSW as part of a new container deposit scheme.

To get things started we’ll consult with the community to design a scheme that will encourage people to get on board and recycle their drink containers for a small incentive. We envision that by July 2017, there will be at least 800 reverse vending machines at popular beaches, parks, and public spaces across NSW. We also hope to create a cost-effective scheme where consumers, or a charity of their choice, receive a small financial reward for depositing a drink container in a reverse vending machine.

Our container deposit scheme offers communities the opportunity to be rewarded for looking after the local environment and keeping it beautiful.

The scheme will complement our existing kerbside recycling system. Over the next 12 months we’ll be consulting with the community and industry on the best way to implement it and if re-elected, we’ll commit to announcing the final design of our container deposit scheme in 2016.

This has been something the community has been requesting for some time. The NSW Government has set itself the ambitious target of having the lowest litter rate in the nation and a container deposit scheme will play a crucial element in achieving that goal.

This week I was also in Parramatta to announce one of Sydney’s major cultural institutions would be moving into the area.

The Powerhouse Museum is one of the city’s most hands-on and interactive cultural institutions visited by families and school children each year looking to broaden their knowledge of the applied arts and sciences.

As part of our plan to relocate the Museum, we’ve committed $10 million to create a business case for the move, which will ensure it remains the vibrant place people enjoy visiting today. A design competition will also be held to decide the final look and fit-out of the new museum, and we’ll guarantee the proceeds from the urban renewal of the existing site in Ultimo will go toward the new museum in Parramatta.

This will be the first time one of the State’s five major cultural institutions will be entirely located in Western Sydney as the Baird Government focuses on developing the arts and cultural sector in the booming region.

Still on the arts, I dropped into Australia’s most recognised building, the beautiful and iconic Sydney Opera House, to announce plans for a long-awaited upgrade.

If re-elected, we’ll invest $202 million to upgrade the Opera House to a world-class performance standard that will enrich the experience for the eight million tourists who visit it each year.

The centrepiece of our plan will be to modernise and improve the acoustic quality of its largest and most popular venue, the Concert Hall. It’s a project that is absolutely necessary, and one that we believe will upgrade the Opera House to a world-class performance standard and cement Sydney’s place as the main centre for the arts in the Asia Pacific.

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