Container Deposit Scheme Ministerial Advisory Committee

The NSW Government’s Container Deposit Scheme, Return and Earn, will reduce the amount of litter caused by drink containers that currently make up about 44% of the volume of all litter in NSW. Return and Earn users will receive a 10 cent refund for every eligible drink container submitted to a collection point.

The Ministerial Advisory Committee was appointed under section 36 of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001. The Committee has advised and will continue to advise the Minister for the Environment on matters related to Return and Earn such as

  • the appointment of the Scheme Coordinator and Network Operator
  • the ongoing administration and management of the agreements with key delivery partners such as the Scheme Coordinator and Network Operator
  • the review of the scheme's delivery and operation

The committee's members represent areas of expertise relevant to the successful implementation of Return and Earn, including environmental, community, legal, financial, local government, and regional and government representatives. Other members are from commercial supply chains and resource recovery sectors.


Tony Wilkins (Chair)

Tony Wilkins is the Head of Environment at News Corp Australia. He is responsible for environmental performance and reporting, and advancing environmental issues including newspaper and magazine recycling. He chairs the NewsMediaWorks Environmental Advisory Group which manages environment and product stewardship issues for the newspaper and magazine industry. He also chairs the NSW Government Environmental Trust Community and Sustainability Subcommittee and is a member of the Trust's Waste and Recycling Subcommittee.

Damien Giurco

Damien Giurco is Professor of Resource Futures and Director (Innovation) at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. His work with government and industry focuses on resource stewardship and he directs the Wealth from Waste Cluster, a collaborative research program supporting circular economy pathways and policies for metals. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Resources.

Tony Hill

Tony Hill is an environmental lawyer and partner at Ashurst with 27 years of experience across a broad range of environmental issues including planning, contamination, pollution, waste regulation, heritage, biodiversity and water.

Christopher Knoblanche

Mr Knoblanche is a company director on various boards and is also a member of the Environment Protection Authority Board. Most recently he was a Senior Advisor, Corporate and Investment Banking, Australia and New Zealand for Citigroup. He has been advising local and multinational companies for over 34 years in areas such as corporate strategy, financing, risk control and management. He is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants. In 2001, he was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government for service to Australian society through business and the arts.

Sandra Loader

Sandra Loader is the Non-Executive Director and current Chair of the Australian Beverages Council Ltd. She has more than 30 years' experience in the fast-moving consumer goods industry across the Asia Pacific region. Her expertise spans across business strategy, science and technology, innovation, quality improvement and regulatory compliance.

Donna Rygate

Donna Rygate is the Chief Executive of Local Government NSW. She has vast Senior Executive experience across the public sector in community development and support, transport, conservation, environment protection, planning and local government, and extensive experience in agriculture.

Stephen Sykes

Stephen Sykes is the Managing Director of Sykes Peer Review, a consulting agency that provides services to the public sector about strategic planning, governance and project delivery with a focus on collaborative capacity building. He has extensive experience working in waste, chairing the NSW Regional Waste Group for 10 years and as a Director with Orange City Council for more than 20 years.

Heidi Taylor

Heidi Taylor is the co-founder and Managing Director of Tangaroa Blue Foundation, a registered charity that coordinates the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. This initiative involves a national network of more than 70,000 volunteers, as well as industry and government partners, working to remove and prevent marine debris.

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