The Queensland Container Refund Scheme continues to worsen and what is the cost to the environment?

The Container Refund Schemes (called a different name in every state of course) in Australia are so utterly absurd. I’ve written about the Queensland system and shown that a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) would have been a fraction of the price and meant that people can return their empty containers when they do their shopping.

We already knew from South Australian experience that depots experiences long queues of cars lined up idling for long periods of time and your average car can hold maybe 200 to 500 containers depending on how many bottles you have and this gives you $20 to $50 but factor in your costs of getting to the deport in time and wear and tear and how much are you really getting back and what cost to the environment are all these trips?

Reed Recycling in Townsville

What a great way to spend the weekend, sitting in your car and sucking on the fumes of the car in front whilst waiting to get a return on a deposit that may end up costing you money to get back.

Reed Recycling in Townsville

And when you do get to the front of the line you get to unload your car, and if you left the bottle caps on to stop them leaking you have to remove them before you hand them over for counting. And don’t crush or otherwise damage the containers or they won’t be accepted if they can’t see the barcode area.

Reed Recycling in Townsville

Job creation in Queensland at work. Instead of using machines that can process these at the point of sale and take care of all the work we get humans to double, triple and quadruple handle the containers.

Container drop off in Bowen

Drop your containers off at some locations but of course they are often full so some people put their labels on your bags! And don’t forget that some companies will keep all your containers if you don’t have the exact number that they specify in the bag. Why would you want to return your containers when you go shopping, it’s much more interesting going on a road trip and burning your fuel.

Staff and contractors have been ripped off by a Charters Towers depot that has since done a runner. Payments being delayed for six or more weeks are still common.

COEX spokesperson Adam Nicholson would not discuss specifics while investigations were ongoing, but said their priority was ensuring customers were not left out of pocket.

“We have seen a massive response, far more than we or anyone else predicted,” he said.

“I think we are experiencing twice the number or volume of containers as seen in New South Wales, so we’ve really load-tested our scheme since day one.

“The positive is that we know where our areas for improvement, are and we’re working really hard behind the scenes.”

COEX spokesperson Adam Nicholson

So Queensland has experienced twice the number or volume of containers as seen in New South Wales? That doesn’t sound correct but surely COEX wouldn’t mislead us?

Between the 1st of November 2018 and I assume the 21st of January 2019 (going by the date on the article) COEX has processed 150 million containers. That is roughly 11 weeks so 13.6 million containers per week.

The NSW system handled 1.3 billion over 14 months so 61 weeks which is 21 million containers a week.

So COEX has been caught misleading the public with false statistics, if I can look them up surely COEX can. Is it asking too much for Government sponsored organisations to actually know the industry they are working in?

Container deposit scheme demand creates mountain of cans at recycling depot

The Next Generation of Queensland drivers licence is going to be digital but at what cost?

The Queensland Government not content with their last attempt at a smart drivers licence that will cost us a BILLION dollars by 2025 to 2030 is now creating another solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. It’s 2003 all over again as the bullshit starts to fly from the mouths of ministers. One of the big selling points of the “Smart Licence” that started in 2003 was the ability to control what information people could see but in the end we received a $1,000,000,000 version of the old drivers license on a new piece of plastic!

The new story of the digital drivers license starts in 2018 after yet another minister has read too much about blockchain and these new fangled digital wallets.

Queensland driver licences next in line for digital evolution

24th of October 2018 | Media Statements

Queenslanders use their driver licence to rent a house, open a bank account, book Airbnb, or check-in to a hotel. A digital driver licence will allow people to do all of this via their mobile device.

We’re not phasing out physical licences but we think people should be given the choice to have a digital option, if that’s their preference

Unlike a physical driver licence, the digital wallet gives you control about how much information you allow a third party to see, copy and retain.

A digital wallet can be more secure than a physical licence as security features include the ability to verify a digital wallet by scanning a QR code or similar.

A pilot for the digital wallet could be ready in second half of 2019.

There will also be the opportunity to include other services in the future, including allowing customers to change their address, renew their licence and pay their registration fees through the digital wallet.

This initiative aligns with Palaszczuk Government’s priority to deliver an easy to use and accessible digital service that meets the needs of the community.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey | 24th of October 2018

Mr Bailey said a procurement process to engage a vendor to develop a digital wallet and supporting platforms would start soon, with an industry briefing event being held on 26 October.

Great so just like the previous “smart” drivers licence project that was an utter failure because it was driven by the vendors we are going down the same path again. Why not work with the other states on this and come up with a system that works across all states and territories instead of going solo? Why not look at what they do overseas? And more to the point why not sort out all the issues with the current physical drivers licence and replace it with one that is much cheaper and uses current technology?


Planning for the future – Digital Wallet and Enabling Platforms

Since 1910 when paper driver licences were first introduced, Queenslanders have been using it for more than just driving. Driver licences are now used for a wide range of transactions, from renting a house, to purchasing medication, applying for a mortgage and booking a hotel. Businesses have made licences the dominant form of identity.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads are in the early stages of developing a convenient, safer, and smarter way for you to store your Queensland Government identification cards, like a driver licence or proof of age card, on a mobile device, instead of carrying a physical one.

The Digital Wallet provides a range of benefits:

  • Security—it’s more secure than a physical product and will include extra security features to ensure your data is protected against cybercrimes and theft. For example, if you lose your phone anyone finding it will have to by-pass your device security (if enabled) then the security in the digital wallet.
  • Control—You will be able to control what information you share with others. For example if you need to prove your age, the wallet will allow the person checking to see your photo and confirm your age, but not see your name or where you live.
  • Convenience—you will be able to update your details immediately, at any time of the day, and receive notifications when your licence is due.
  • Real time information—any changes to your licence will be immediately updated in the wallet.

What’s next
We’ve started the procurement process to engage vendor partners to develop the Digital Wallet and Enabling Platforms, with a pilot program to commence late 2019. The pilot will be developed in consultation with customers, police and other key stakeholders to ensure key features are accessible and are designed to meet the needs of the community. Following feedback from the pilot, the wallet will be implemented across the state. Additional features may be added in the future as customers’ and stakeholders’ needs arise.

About the program
The Customer Orientated Registration and Licencing program has been established to modernise Queensland’s registration and licensing system. The program aims to deliver digital and business solutions that simplify and improve the way our customers interact with us.

The program will focus on how to re-think service design from a human-centred approach, simplify processes, regulatory, legislative and policy drivers, and build the next generation of digital platforms that enable those outcomes, in partnership with our customers.

We’re establishing a Digital Wallet, and Enabling Platforms that will allow Queenslanders to have their driver licences and other Queensland Government issued products available digitally on their mobile devices should they choose to do so.

Program vision
The Department’s vision is “A single integrated transport network accessible to everyone”.

We have several key goals that form the core to enabling the Department’s vision:

  • A single view of our customer, for our customers
  • Simplify our process and policy/legislative drivers to make the customer experience better and our systems simpler
  • Connect our business, our partners and our customers
  • Exit our legacy platforms in a practical, sustainable way that adds value to our business
  • All of this is underwritten by the principles of faster, cheaper, better, safer outcomes of the program. The Digital Wallet and Enabling Platforms are the first steps to achieving these goals.

Partnering with industry
We are partnering with industry to develop a Digital Wallet and Enabling Platforms. The aim of this procurement activity is to engage vendor/s or a consortia to develop 2 solutions:

Digital Wallet
An application on a mobile device that can store credentials such as licences in a secure fashion. These credentials can be managed by the owner and provide access as well as pay for services and other products.

Enabling Platforms
A group of technologies that are used as a foundation platform to develop other applications, processes or technologies.

The Digital Wallet will need new foundation technology that will allow it to link credentials to products and services within our department. Once the pilot is complete, this Enabling Platforms can be used and leveraged by other services across the government sector as well as allow the department to transition its legacy platforms to support new ways of working.

For more information about the procurement of the Digital Wallet and Enabling Platforms opportunity, please email the ICT Procurement team.

Original page here

Will digital licences be available in QLD?

24th of October 2018 | RACQ

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said this kind of technology would be an added convenience for drivers.

“Many of us are already cashless and using smartphones to pay for our goods and do our banking so this is clearly the next step,” Mr Spalding said.

“If we can get the security right – as we have with internet banking, this will really make it easier for many drivers who don’t want to carry so many cards around.

How is it an added convenience? It’s all very well to say these things but I cannot see how this is an added convenience. Cashless? How many people are really cashless, yet another buzzword to throw around.

And security for internet banking is clearly not “right” as it still has major flaws that need to be addressed. RACQ has raised none of the security issues but just fully supported this.

If you want to carry around less cards maybe the Queensland Government could deliver on all the promises it made with the previous driver licence project that the RACQ supported despite it being a total failure at a huge cost the motorists that RACQ claims to represent.

RACQ could spend some time looking at other countries and how they managed drivers licences and other ID along with the risks before supporting the Queensland Government.

Here are some questions you could ask and get answers to for the Motorists you “claim” to represent.

Questions that haven’t be asked by the media, the RACQ or anyone else regarding the “digital” driver licence

  • What happens if your mobile has a flat battery?
  • How can emergency services access the digital card if they can’t unlock you phone at the scene of an accident?
  • What happens if you travel overseas or to another state where they don’t recognise your “digital” drivers licence?
  • How much is the “digital” drivers licence going to cost?
  • What happens if your “digital” licence is compromised and used to hire vehicles, tools and trailers? Who is liable for this?
  • How does the person accepting the licence keep a record of it? Now they can scan it, photocopy it or take a photo but what happens with a digital licence?
  • What will be the cost to modify systems for businesses who use licences for ID such are renting a car, house, trailer or tools.
  • What happens if a business refuses to accept the “digital” drivers licence?
  • What happens if your phone is lost and is unlocked?
  • What if you phone is stolen and unlocked?
  • If you get pulled over by the police will they need to take your phone back to their vehicle in an unlocked state and given that this allows the police to look through your phone legally now what legislation is going to be in place to protect drivers?
  • What if the police when looking at your phone at the drivers licence see a message come up that indicated possible criminal activity, are there going to be safeguards in place for all or just some types of crime?
  • What if there is no internet when you need to show your drivers licence?
  • What if the TMR systems are down and you need to show your drivers licence?
  • What role will the company providing this service have in being able to access and alter licence information?
  • Will there be a 24 hour helpline in the event of problems?
  • Will this digital drivers licence be location aware and track your movements?

Other States

Each state has a completely different approach using a different vendor and a different method of implementation along with different features.

South Australia

Total spent on digital drivers licence so far $1.919 million.

(for the app with Appvation)

Dropped their previous app which had 270,000 users called EzyReg.

“Premier Jay Weatherill said physical licences and other passes would remain available for the foreseeable future.”

Digital Pass and Licence

Do you still need a physical card?
While digital passes and licences are now available in South Australia, some organisations and businesses may not be set up to validate your digital pass or licence.

An organisation or business may request that you present your physical licence, so it is recommended that you continue to carry your physical licence with you just in case, especially when you travel interstate or overseas.

New South Wales

Based on blockchain technology. Why? Because they can. $$$$

Total spent on digital drivers licence so far $17.8 million

  • Invested $8.5 million in the 2017-2018 budget towards the rollout of digital drivers licences and the Dubbo trial.
  • $9.3 million in the 2018-2019 budget to rollout across the state by the end of 2019.

If the driver’s phone has a flat battery, cracked screen or other problems that mean that card details cannot be read they will be treated the same as failing to product a physical licence.

Digital Driver Licence

Queenslands “Smart” Drivers Licence and how our Government screwed us with a Billion dollar failure

The story of the drivers licence replacement project that was slated to be a zero cost upgrade but will eventually cost Queensland taxpayers and drivers $1,000,000,000 between 2025 and 2030 started in 2001, announced in 2003 and progressively the costs kept adding and the deployment keep getting pushed out until 2011 when it was finally available with none of the functionality or features promised. How did we end up with the same for such a high cost? Government incompetence.

2003

Queensland driving towards a secure Smart State licence

29th of September 2003 | Media Statements

The first announcement of a new drivers licence requirement is made by Premier Peter Beattie and the Transport Minister Steve Bredhauer.

Apparently according to the Premier Peter Beattie this licence would make the “Smart State” an international leader and keep us all safe from fraud. Meanwhile Estonia became the international leader in smart card licences, didn’t feel the need to announce it and our state government committed fraud to the tune of $1,000,000,000 by extorting their taxpayers excessively for the new smart dumb licence.

The proposed new licence would make the Smart State an international leader in secure smart card licences, and give us an edge in the fight against fraud.

The new licence would have a built-in computer chip to securely store and process information that could be accessed only by a special reader.

“It would securely store personal details, plus a photo and signature, and would have the capacity to store emergency contact information.

Premier Peter Beattie | 29th of September 2003

One of the claims was that this would cost around $60 million if we replaced existing systems in the Transport Department offices however if they enter into a public private partnership the system may cost us the same as the current system.

Depending on the private sector’s interest in a public private partnership, the new system may involve no cost to Queensland taxpayers.

Transport Minister Steve Bredhauer | 30th of September 2003

The new cards would offer us the follow advantages

  • Reduce identity fraud
  • Allow you to keep emergency contact details on the card (all police cars would be fitted out with readers)
  • Remove the need for address on the licence (all businesses that need the address would have to have card readers to read the address for example at the time video stores, car rentals etc)
  • Allow business to be transacted online with the Transport Department
  • Public transport payment card
  • Used for vending machine and small transactions in stores

Any attempt to crack the ‘keys’ of this type of smart card technology would be extremely expensive. A would-be hacker would need to invest in several millions of dollars in technology just to crack one card, and this could not be achieved without destruction of the particular card itself.

Queensland Government | 29th of September 2003 | Security Safeguards attachment to press release

In the consultation paper that was released in 2003 and which is no longer available online the following features were promoted.

Licence holders would be able to check their own licensing information stored on the smartcard using a self serve terminal or if they have a reader attached to their home computer.

If licensing information such as address and expiry date were to be stored on the chip, in the future, licence holders would be able to give permission (for example, by using their own PIN {Personal Identification Number}) for other organisations such as car hire companies to access it.

Queensland Police Service could use readers containing special access software to access driver licensing and emergency contact information.

Queensland Government Consultation Paper for Smart Licence | 2003

The quotes from the consultation paper are available on the submission made by the EFA in response to the Queensland Smart Card Driver Licence Proposal. I’m not going to duplicate they work that they have done as their submission covers the reasons why the smart card on the new licence is not secure and what the Queensland Government promised was never going to be delivered.

There was no requirement for a smart card to be used, all they needed was a more secure way of creating the cards instead of using laminated cards that were being stolen from Transport Department offices by thieves jumping the counter, taking a whole tray of cards and laminate and walking out. Of course we could have secured the card making equipment but this would have been too logical. These devices were available in 2003 and are much more common now, a small printer creates the cards and prints them on the spot but I digress as this is the story of the billion dollar smart card that has no smarts!

2004

Market Sounding for New Drivers Licence

20th of May 2004 | Media Statements

The Minister for Transport & Main Roads, The Honourable Paul Lucas is sounding out the market for new ways to make money with the new drivers licence and announced three weeks submission period from businesses wanting to use outdated technology.

The new licence could offer a range of potential features, including storing emergency contact details on an electronic chip on the licence, or using the chip to let licence holders carry out secure online transactions with government agencies.

The chip may also let licence holders receive credit card-linked loyalty or reward points for buying low-cost goods and services. These may include buying public transport or parking tickets, or goods from vending machines by using money stored on the smartcard.

But these are ideas only – this market sounding is all about hearing from the private sector what it thinks are potential commercial applications for the proposed licence.

Mr Lucas said the new smartcard licence provided a chance for the Smart State to be a leader in using innovative technology for a new generation of driver licensing.

I expect many Queenslanders will find the use of optional extras such as credit cards and cash cards to the smartcard licence very convenient, but that will be entirely a matter for them, no ifs and no buts

The market sounding will help Queensland Transport prepare the final business case by identifying private sector interest in providing commercial services on the driver licence proposal.

An initial market sounding study, conducted in 2001 prior to this licence proposal, found it was both a feasible and manageable project.

This second round will confirm the feasibility of our approach to this project’s development, as well as its overall viability.

Minister for Transport & Main Roads, The Honourable Paul Lucas | 20th of May 2004

2005

A change in direction

The Smart Cards will no longer be able to used for shopping and vending machines! But Premier Peter Beattie sold this as one of the major features.

Smartcard licences to be issued to Queensland drivers will not be multifunction transaction cards. The card would be confined to its main purpose of licensing drivers.

Transport Minister Paul Lucas | January 2005

Smart Licence on the Cards

29th of December 2005 | Media Statement

The way driver’s licences are currently made and the way information is stored needs to be brought into the new digital age.

Queensland is the Smart State, and we will have a smarter licensing product in place in 2008.

Licence holders will be able to opt to have some of their personal information, such as their address, moved from the display panel and put instead on the microchip, which the old cards don’t allow.

Owners of the new licence will set a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) to the card to help protect their privacy.

Premier & Treasurer, The Honourable Peter Beattie | 29th of December 2005

Clearly not that smart Peter given that it was 2011 before the cards were being rolled out at a cost many times higher that delivers none of the benefits you promised.

2006

The next announcement from the Queensland Government came on the 10th of August 2006 and they had dropped the idea to continue to produce the cards themselves and have gone straight to letting the private sector develop a solution that no doubt will cost us a fortune.

It’s a quantum leap in the security and integrity of licence information

They’ll be publicly released next week. The tender will invite expressions of interest from the private sector for planning, design, integration, financing, delivery, management and maintenance of the drivers licence.

The proposal will be developed under Public Private Partnerships guidelines in accordance with State Government policies.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Paul Lucas | 10th of August 2006

2007

2008

The Shortlist

18th of January 2008 | Media Statement

Four years after being announced the Queensland Government finally announced on the 18th of January 2007 a shortlist of consortia. The companies involved would develop proposals for selection later in 2007 with a pilot deployment in 2008 and a full deployment in 2009.
(this was delayed by another two years before this occurred)

The new licence will feature an embedded microchip, and this new technology will feature advanced cryptography, making the licence extremely difficult to inappropriately access or alter.

This is about getting the right people to develop the most secure licence in Australia, and achieving value for money

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Paul Lucas | 18th of January 2007
  • EDS, consisting of Placard, Viisage, Sagem Australasia, Grabba International, ActivIdentity Australia and Sun Microsystems Australia;
  • Fujitsu Australia, consisting of Giesecke and Devrient Australasia;
  • Australia Post, consisting of Datacard South Pacific, Oberthur Card Systems Australia, Ingenico International (Pacific) and ActivIdentity Australia; and
  • Leigh Mardon, consisting of LM Gemplus, Gemalto, Grabba International and Hewlett Packard Australia.

QLD smart licence to go national

13th of June 2008 | Computerworld

Expectations that Queensland’s emerging smart card driver licence will become a national model could see card readers in every Australian business, home, club and local video shop.

The licence, which uses facial recognition, has been under development by Queensland Transport for three years, and aims to reduce fraud, simplify card issuing and cut red tape.

Other states in Australia are developing similar smart-card licensing, though none are as advanced as the New Queensland Driver Licence (NQDL) project.

Queensland Transport land transport and safety executive director Judy Oswin said the card will be the first in Australia to include facial recognition and will remove address details from the face of the licence.

It is a huge change that people are going to have to get used to.

There is an awful amount of information that is relied upon on the face of the driver licence.

Queensland Transport land transport and safety executive director Judy Oswin

Registered clubs, car hire companies and other government agencies including Australia Post will have access to user data embedded in the licence and stored in government databases for validation of identity, address, and whether the person is allowed to drive.

Such validation will require users to swipe their licence in a smart card reader and enter a pin number to allow the organisation to obtain basic licence details and conditions.

Oswin said other ancillary uses, such as automatic transfer of vehicle registration, will be integrated into the chip as the project develops.

“We need to focus on delivering the project but we are open to incorporating [other uses],” she said.

It will be the first time that images and written signatures are stored in a central repository for the Queensland drivers licence.

The NQDL project is pioneering smart card technology in the country, and has written components of the 24727 ISO standard which is yet to be completed.

Austroads, the association of Australian and New Zealand road transport and traffic authorities, is expected to promote the same standards used by the NQDL to ensure interoperability between states.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates used in the Queensland licence are expected to be adopted by all states.

Oswin said police will be able to use the same smart card readers to check licence conditions and confirm identity if uniformed PKI certificates are used.

Lax interoperability between state licencing will damage everything from fraud prevention, to law enforcement and future smart card initiatives.

Users will be able to update personal information over the Internet, and possibly in the future through a series of public smart card reader terminals.

Data on the smart card will be updated whenever it is placed in a reader, and users will be supplied with record of access.

The project began the “implementation phase” at the start of last year, and its expected to commence rolling out from late 2009.

New Drivers Licence a Step Closer

13th of November 2008 | Media Statement

The Transport Minister John Mickel on the claimed to have introduced legislation to Parliament for the new drivers licence.

We are getting on with the job and advancing our Towards Q2 strategy – the new licence will be smart and secure.

Fake driver licences can be used to commit a wide range of crimes, such as money laundering, creating false identities and identity theft

…motorist’s address will not be shown. Instead it will be stored electronically on the smart chip.

This new feature is aimed at personal safety and protection of property .

Think of it this way – does your ATM card show your address ? Your credit card ? Your Medicare card ?

No – none of these display your home address. From now on, if a person has lost or had their handbag or wallet stolen, the chance of the driver’s licence being used to break into their house is significantly decreased.

Transport Minister John Micke | 13th of November 2008

These are nothing but outright false statements, they knew about the issues of taking the address off the drivers licence but they continue to put this forward as one of the major selling points knowing that it would never occur and why compare a credit card or ATM card to a drivers licence, they are not even remotely the same and only an idiot would make these comparisions.

Next they listed three key features, none of which were implemented. This was under 2 years out from full deployment and and 5 years from when they were told that what they wanted to to do with the card was not possible.

  • Digital photographs will be able to be accessed by authorised officers for licensing transactions such as licence issue and renewal and licence-related enforcement. Police access to digital photographs outside of transport-related enforcement and licensing will require a judicial order.
  • Queensland Police and transport inspectors will have handheld smartcard readers to access the information stored on the chip.
  • A cardholder may also provide access to third parties by inserting the licence into a smartcard reader, and entering their PIN to authorise information to be read from the chip, such as their address.

2009

2009/2010 Licence Costs

  • Five years | $73.30

Unisys scores five-year QLD digital drivers’ licence deal

23rd of April 2009 | ITnews

Queensland Transport will progressively replace three million laminated drivers’ licences with smartcards that use facial recognition technology supplied by Unisys.

The Department said today it has awarded a five-year contract to Unisys Australia, which will act as prime contractor and primary implementation partner for facial image capture, facial image recognition, and case management aspects of the project.

The smartcard licences will be introduced in a rolling program as existing laminated licences expire and are renewed.

The process is expected to take approximately five years.

“We have used the laminated licence design in Queensland for over 20 years,” said Judy Oswin, Department of Land, Transport and Safety executive director.

“The new digital licence will deliver a more secure form of driver licence documentation for Queenslanders as it is harder to forge or alter.

“As a result it will help reduce the risk of identity theft to Queensland licence holders and give them greater confidence that their personal licence information is being kept secure.”

The Unisys solution includes approximately 370 purpose-built image capture devices to take biometric facial images that are subsequently embedded into the smartcard chip.

The front counter devices will be used at most Queensland Transport customer service centres, some Queensland Government Agent Program (QGAP) offices and police stations in rural and remote areas.

Unisys said it will train Queensland Transport staff in facial image capture operation to ensure high quality, secure and consistent image capture in line with ISO standards.

Unisys will also provide Cognitec facial image recognition software to match the biometric facial image against existing images in the driver licence database, “a critical component to identify if individuals hold multiple cards in different names, or attempt to obtain cards using forged or stolen identity documents.”

Unisys partner Daon will provide biometric enrolment technology and biometric middleware software.

Where a discrepancy needs further investigation, the Unisys identification and credentialing framework LEIDA (Library of eID Artefacts software) will act as a backbone case management system to connect all the elements of the Queensland Transport solution together.

For instance, where an applicant’s photo matches a photo under a different name in the system it will trigger an alert, provide an immediate side-by-side comparison, and track ongoing case management if further investigation is required.

Queensland Transport also announced that Leigh Mardon Australia would design the customer interface devices to provide for the capture of a cardholder’s signature image, PIN and other secure information.

QLD to get smart licences next year

23rd of April 2009 | Computerworld

Queensland Transport has inked a five-year deal with Unisys to design and build a facial recognition and biometric matching platform for the state’s smartcard drivers’ licence.

Unisys would not reveal the value of the deal.

Some three million laminated drivers’ licence will be gradually replaced from mid-next year with the smartcards, which will also provide access to multiple government services.

Registered clubs, car hire companies and other government agencies including Australia Post will have access to user data embedded in the licence and stored in government databases for validation of identity, address, and whether the person is allowed to drive. The cards will also provide for the automatic transfer of vehicle registration

Unisys will design some 370 image capture devices to be used in QLD Transport customer service centres, police stations and other government agencies. It will also be responsible for cross-checking new photographs with database records to detect fraud using biometric software.

QLD Transport land and safety director Judy Oswin said the smartcards will reduce the level fraud plaguing the existing laminated drivers licence.

“We have used the laminated licence design in QLD for over 20 years. The new digital licence will deliver a more secure form of driver licence documentation for Queenslanders as it is harder to forge or alter,” Oswin said in a statement.

“As a result it will help reduce the risk of identity theft to QLD licence holders and give them greater confidence that their personal licence information is being kept secure.

“It will also enable QLD Transport to deliver services in a more convenient manner as licence holders will be able to use a card reader or the [government] Web site to view, update and transact on their licence and registration themselves,” she said.

Overarching software , dubbed the Library of eID Artefacts, will monitor all components of the smartcard system to assist fraud investigations and trigger alerts if an individual is holding drivers licences under false names.

Some 10,000 handheld smartcard readers will be deployed across the state, which may include public terminals, homes, businesses, and pubs and clubs.

The licences are expected to cost about $20.

Function-creep is one of the biggest concerns with the New Queensland Drivers’ Licence (NQDL) which has been in planning and development since 2003. The Australian Law Reform Commission said allowing additional agencies to access smartcard data creates significant privacy risks because of the large amount of personal data stored on the cards.

While the QLD card will shun wireless connectivity and require direct contact with readers, a German group last year cracked the popular Mifare Classic Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) card by removing its chip and cutting layers away. The encryption algorithm was discovered after researchers stripped away layers and photographed the connections using a microscope.

Unisys deployed a similar smartcard for Malaysia, the MyKad identity card, which the company claims is the world’s first multi-application smartcard.

Gemalto to provide a new Queensland Driver Licence in Australia

7th of July 2009 | Gemalto

Gemalto’s secure Sealys* eDriver Licence solution selected by Department of Transport and Main Roads in partnership with Prime Contractor Placard Pty

Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Brisbane, Australia, July 7, 2009 – Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security announces that it will together with Prime Contractor Placard Pty Ltd provide several million Sealys e​lectronic driving licences to the Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland, Australia over a five year period with implementation commencing in 2010.

Currently, just over 3 million drivers in Queensland hold laminated driver licences on which personal data is printed. The new cards will significantly improve the security and privacy of personal data by securely storing driver information electronically. This will make the new licence difficult to copy and counterfeit and thereby minimizes the potential for identity theft.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads also plans to use this secure technology for the Adult Proof of Age, Marine Licence Indicator and Industry Authority cards.

The Department’s Land Transport and Safety Executive Director Judy Oswin says moving to this technology will place Queensland at the forefront of delivering sophisticated, and secure technology, bringing together a range of applications that will ensure a state of the art product is delivered.

The smartcard products will be a substantial leap forward in security over our existing laminated product. This is because of the strong level of authentication built into the physical product, as well as the business processes and systems that sit behind it; we will also be able to enhance electronic service delivery options for licence holders.”

“Queensland is pleased to be leading the first smartcard driver licence in Australia and believe that our ground breaking work will provide a sound basis for other states to build on, should they also decide to take on smartcard technology for their licence products,” Ms Oswin said.

Tan Teck Lee, President, Gemalto Asia added, “We are honored to be able to play a part in introducing leading security technology into driver licences issued by The Department of Transport and Main Roads. Gemalto is recognized as a leader in digital solutions boosting operational efficiency and increase security.”

Gemalto’s Sealys eDriver Licence solution is compliant with ISO 24727 standard and the Smartcard Framework and Smartcard Licence Interoperability Protocol (SLIP), which is the standard referenced to by the drivers licence project.

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL 0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital secur​ity with 2008 annual revenues of €1.68 billion, and 10,000 employees operating out of 75 offices, research and service centers in 40 countries.

Gemalto is at the heart of our evolving digital society. The freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank, entertain, and work—anytime, anywhere—has become an integral part of what people want and expect, in ways that are convenient, enjoyable and secure.

Gemalto delivers on the growing demands of billions of people worldwide for mobile connectivity, identity and data protection, credit card safety, health and transportation services, e-government and national security. We do this by supplying to governments, wireless operators, banks and enterprises a wide range of secure personal devices, such as subscriber identification modules (SIM) in mobile phones, smart banking cards, smart card access badges, electronic passports, and USB tokens for online identity protection. To complete the solution we also provide software, systems and services to help our customers achieve their goals.

As the use of Gemalto’s software and secure devices increases with the number of people interacting in the digital and wireless world, the company is poised to thrive over the coming years.

For more information please visit www.gemalto.com.

About Placard

Placard is a wholly owned Australian company, which has been in existence since 1987 as a manufacturer of plastic cards. Since then, Placard has continued to expand, and now provides comprehensive card program management products to over 500 clients and employs in excess of 170 staff. Placard is a well established, quality, total card solutions provider and has a reputation of meeting its commitments to its clients and consistently achieves service levels beyond its clients’ expectations.

Placard is the only secure card manufacturer in Australia and is recognised as the market leader in the country with a substantial card personalisation and fulfilment bureau.

Placard’s secure manufacturing and bureau facilities are both Visa and MasterCard accredited to the highest level including EMV accreditation.

Placard’s core competencies lie in the design, printing, manufacture, personalisation and mailing of ISO Standard secure and non secure plastic cards with Bureau services encompassing the latest Visa and MasterCard EMV standards for embossing, magnetic stripe encoding, indent printing, thermal print flat graphics, high quality Drop on Demand personalisation, laser printing processes and intelligent matching & mailing services.

For more information, please visit www.placard.com.au or call + 61 3 9722 5200 .

Contract awarded for new Driver Licence

July 2009 | A new Drive Licence for Queensland, Australia

In July 2009, Gemalto announced that it will together with Prime Contractor Placard Pty Ltd provide several million electronic driving licences to the Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland, Australia over a five year period with implementation commencing in 2010.

Currently, just over 3 million drivers in Queensland hold laminated driver licences on which personal data is printed. The new cards will significantly improve the security and privacy of personal data by securely storing driver information electronically. This will make the new licence difficult to copy and counterfeit and thereby minimizes the potential for identity theft.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads also plans to use this secure technology for the Adult Proof of Age, Marine Licence Indicator and Industry Authority cards.

Gemalto’s eDriver Licence solution is compliant with ISO 24727 standard and the Smartcard Framework and Smartcard Licence Interoperability Protocol (SLIP), which is the standard referenced to by the drivers licence project.


2010

July 2010 to June 2011 Licence Costs

  • One year | $37.35
  • Two years | $52.05
  • Five years | $96.05

Queensland’s new driver licence

12th of May 2010 | Media Statement

The Minister for Transport, The Honourable Rachel Nolan declared that Queensland will soon have the most secure drivers licence system in Australia!

  • Biometric imaging is used rather than the old Polaroid photo. What that means is that when your photo is taken at the CSC or police station, a 16 point computer image of your face is taken and stored on the computer. That makes it virtually impossible for someone else to come along later and try to get a fake licence in your name.
  • A number of visual security features including hologram, special inks, a watermark and shadowing.
  • A computer chip which stores your personal information, security PIN and shared secrets

Still talk of the computer chip with personal information, PIN and shared secrets which never eventuated so even up until the launch of the licence they were still misleading the public.

Providing the most secure licensing system in the country comes at a cost but the price of a Queensland licence will still compare favourably to other major Australian states.

The current cost of a five-year licence in Queensland is $73.30.

The new Queensland driver licence will initially cost $96.05 for five years, equal to around 37 cents per week.

Taking into account CPI and the cost of implementing the new system a new five-year licence in 2014-15 will cost $152.50 or around 58 cents a week.

Next financial year the most secure licence in the country will still be cheaper than licences in four other states.

And even in five years time, our licence will cost about the same as what drivers in NSW, South Australia and the ACT pay right now (NSW $151, ACT $145, SA $150).

Each time they renew their licence, facial image recognition technology will ensure they are who they claim to be.

Minister for Transport, The Honourable Rachel Nolan | 22nd of May 2010

The Government will undertake a carefully planned roll out of the new licensing system and Department of Transport and Main Roads staff will take part in an initial trial in August.

Following that Toowoomba residents, given the city’s mix of demographics and licence products, will be able to renew licences under the new system later in the year.


The last sentence is an outright lie, they had been promoting that it can be renewed online at this point so either the Minister for Transport was telling porkies or they knew nothing about their portfolio.

Justifying the increases by making it a price per week is beyond stupid and why stop there who not publicise the registration fees as a price per day!


Driver’s licences to double in price

12th of May 2010 | Brisbane Times

The price of Queensland driver’s licences is set to more than double as the state embraces new chip technology.

The new licences, embedded with a computer chip, will be introduced in Toowoomba before the end of this year, before becoming available across the state by the end of 2011.

Special biometric imaging will replace the current polaroid photo on laminated licences.

“The laminate driver’s licences currently in use across Queensland have been in existence for almost 25 years and are in need of a major overhaul,” Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said.

The price of a new five-year licence will initially rise from $73.30 to $96.05, before escalating again to $152.50 in 2014, an overall increase of 108 per cent.

The cost will be even greater for truck drivers who will need a separate heavy vehicle licence under the new system.

The price increase is the latest hit for the state’s drivers, after hefty registration cost increases came into effect last year, while the government scrapped the fuel subsidy.

brisbanetimes.com.au reported last year at how the new licence would begin rolling out in 2010.

RACQ spokesman Gary Fites said the price hike was justified given the new security for motorists.

”We can see a more justifiable price rise in this given for what is essentially for a new and improved product compared with far less justification for the toll increases and the sorts of registration increases we’ve seen,” Mr Fites said.

”This is something people pay for every five years. It’s not hitting them every year, and it’s not hitting them every time they fill up at the [bowser].

”We would have more concern if we were paying that sort of increase for essentially the same product.”

The biometric cameras needed in Queensland Transport offices and police stations will cost the state government $10,000 each to install and operate.

Smart licences have been six years in the planning and it is expected to take a further five before the rollout is complete.

Drivers will not be forced to switch to the new licences but will instead wait until their old ones expire.

Cards will still display traditional licencing information such as the licence number, name, date of birth, gender and height, address, class of licence and expiry date but the on-board microchip can be programmed with further data.

The chip will hold digital versions of the displayed information as well as digital certificates to prove the authenticity of the card as well as a “record of access” to show who has accessed information contained on the chip.

Security features on the new cards include facial recognition technology which links the card to an image, signature storage, high tech encryption and a PIN code which the cardholder must enter to allow authorities access to the information stored on the card.

Authorities have said only Queensland and interstate police, transport compliance officers and driver licensing authorities will be able to access information stored on the chip.

“Even police will need a court order to access the information,” Ms Nolan said.

Drivers will have a 16-point hologram taken of their face, which will be stored in a central information system.

“That makes it virtually impossible for someone else to come along later and try to get a fake licence in your name,” the minister said.

Ms Nolan said the new look licences were designed to protect the tens of thousands of victims of personal identity fraud in Queensland each year.


RACQ spokesman Gary Fites said the price hike was justified given the new security for motorists.

”We can see a more justifiable price rise in this given for what is essentially for a new and improved product compared with far less justification for the toll increases and the sorts of registration increases we’ve seen,” Mr Fites said.

”This is something people pay for every five years. It’s not hitting them every year, and it’s not hitting them every time they fill up at the [bowser].

”We would have more concern if we were paying that sort of increase for essentially the same product.”

The price hike is justified when they didn’t deliver on any of the promises! This is a new and improved product in what way?

What about those who renew every year? It makes no difference if you choose one, two, three, four or five years as you are still paying an excessive amount for something that costs under $10 in Europe for 5-10 years and that offers more security!

The RACQ said the same in 2014 so clearly they have an agenda to push that isn’t looking after the motorists of Queensland.

Security features on the new cards include facial recognition technology which links the card to an image, signature storage, high tech encryption and a PIN code which the cardholder must enter to allow authorities access to the information stored on the card.

Where is this PIN code they talk about? Seems that the government has failed to deliver.

Ms Nolan said the new look licences were designed to protect the tens of thousands of victims of personal identity fraud in Queensland each year.

Identity fraud continues to increase and looking at the statistics the new drivers licence has done nothing to abate that. Another failure.

“That makes it virtually impossible for someone else to come along later and try to get a fake licence in your name,” the minister said.

Except for the casual staff member who was able to issue 60 driver licences to people that already had licences under different names and the system that cost hundreds of millions did nothing to detect these duplicates.


New driver licence makes debut in Toowoomba

5th of November 2010 | Media Statement

The most secure driver licence system in Australia will make its public debut in Toowoomba today.

It’s a big day as we start to move from old laminated licences to delivering the most secure driver licence system in the country

When Queenslanders apply for their new licence a digital photograph will be taken and stored centrally.

Licences will also be mailed to customers within two weeks rather than being available on the spot.

“It’s just like getting your passport or a credit card. Licences will be produced at a central location meaning greater identity security and protection,” she said.

“It’s a big change but it will make Queensland licences the most secure in Australia – helping in the fight against fraud and identity theft.”

Ms Nolan said the new Queensland driver licence will initially cost $96.05 for five years, equal to around 37 cents per week.

Taking into account CPI and the cost of implementing the new system a new five-year licence in 2014-15 will cost $152.50 or around 58 cents a week – comparable to the current cost of licences in other states.

2011

2012

July 2012 to June 2013 Licence Costs

A 63 per cent increase over July 2010 to June 2011 cost

  • One year | $64.20
  • Two years | $89.50
  • Five years | $143.75

2013

Queensland drivers hit with licence increases

29th of May 2013 | CourierMail

QUEENSLAND motorists are being slugged with increases of up to 71 per cent for new smartcard driver’s licences since their rollout less than three years ago.

The cost of the new licences, which drivers can sign up for from one to five years, has risen by an average of 63 per cent since they were introduced in late 2010.

About half of the state’s 3.4 million registered drivers have already bought the new plastic credit-card sized licences but about 1.69 million drivers are still using the old laminate cards.

The cost of a one-year smartcard licence climbed by 71 per cent from $37.35 in 2010-11 to $64.20 in 2012-13.

The cost of a two-year smartcard licence also rose by 71 per cent from $52.05 to $89.50 in the same period.

Five-year smartcard licences rose by 49 per cent from $96.05 in 2010-11 to $143.75 in 2012-13.

A spokeswoman for Transport Minister Scott Emerson blamed the hefty increases on the former Labor government.

“The increase to the cost of a driver’s licence reflects the cost of producing the new card which was set under the previous government,” she said.

“Unfortunately this is another example of Labor’s reckless spending with no consideration for the impact it would have on taxpayers.”

The cost to roll out the new Queensland licensing system was about $139 million and it’s hoped all drivers will have migrated to the new technology by the end of 2017.

The Newman Government is looking at ways to reduce the data added to the chip and help make it smaller and cheaper which would help reduce the computer systems needed to manage the licences and cut costs.

The cards have a number of visual and technological security features designed to make it easier to identify forgeries.

Queensland Council of Social Service director Mark Henley said the rising costs to smartcard licences was yet another increasing cost for Queenslanders.

“I think it’s really important that the Government has a holistic view of any of the prices or costs that they passed on to the public with goods or services they provide such a licence,” he said.

“They need to have a line of sight of what the overall impact is for people.

“One of the biggest problems people face is managing the increasing costs across a variety of services and this is another increase in cost people have to wear.”

RACQ executive manager of public policy Michael Roth said the licence increases were “steep” but their implementation of the system was “a good decision.”

The option to renew laminated licences was phased out in October.

Drivers cannot upgrade from a laminated card to a smartcard online, it must be completed at a Department of Transport office.

Smartcard users are able to renew their cards electronically.


The Newman Government is looking at ways to reduce the data added to the chip and help make it smaller and cheaper which would help reduce the computer systems needed to manage the licences and cut costs.

Seriously?!? The Minister believes that the amount of data written to a tiny amount of memory has anything to with the cost of the cards and why did they achieve nothing in relation to the cost of the drivers licence in their time in government? Once again a Minister criticises the previous government, promises to reduce costs but does nothing.

The card already has none of the features that were promised so what’s actually stored on the card? The police don’t have readers so why bother putting anything on the card as the chip is not used! There’s your cost saving, replace the chip card with a standard card like they should have used in the first place but of course as you’ll find out further down the cost of the card is not the issue. The government is using this card as an excuse to tax us through yet another fee that doesn’t reflect the cost of providing the service.

RACQ executive manager of public policy Michael Roth said the licence increases were “steep” but their implementation of the system was “a good decision.”

Another failure from the RACQ who are totally out of touch with the motorists they claim to represent. They continue to turn themselves into a large corporation that exits only to make huge profits.

How can a card that does nothing that it was claimed to do be a good decision?

The cost to roll out the new Queensland licensing system was about $139 million and it’s hoped all drivers will have migrated to the new technology by the end of 2017.

This new technology of course isn’t actually being used so what did we get for $139 million? In 2003 they quoted the price as $60 million for an government roll out and a likely no cost roll out if they enter into a public/private partnership like they did so how did the prices increase by $139 million or more and why is no-one held accountable for this excessive waste of taxpayer funds?

2014

Fake Queensland drivers’ licences being investigated by crime commission amid terror identity fears

22nd of September 2014 | Cairns Post

A CRIME and Corruption Commission investigation is underway into a major fraud involving Queensland drivers’ licences, that may have helped would-be terrorists develop new identities.

A casual employee of Transport and Main Roads — who News Corp Australia understands had her employment terminated in December — is at the centre of the investigation which has been kept quiet by the department and the CCC.

It is alleged she issued upwards of 60 fraudulent licences in return for payment of $1000 each.

Sources within the department have revealed the employee allegedly “overrode” the Transport Integrated Customer Access (TICA) system to issue the licences.

The cards themselves were uncompromised.

A CCC spokesman confirmed an investigation was underway and it was “ongoing”.

“The Department of Transport and Main Roads is fully cooperating and assisting the CCC,” said the spokesman.

Staff who worked with the woman are among those who have been interviewed over the alleged fraud.

University of Queensland national security expert Professor Brian Lovell said a fake drivers licence would be considered a valuable commodity for people with criminal intent.

“If you look at the 9-11 attackers, there were 19 of them, and they had 63 drivers’ licences between them,” said Prof Lovell.

“A fake driver’s licence gives you a false identity so you can hide your trail.”

He said someone with a fake driver’s licence in Australia could easily rent a three-tonne truck and pack it with explosives.

“The Queensland licensing system is very, very strong (security wise) but if you’ve got someone on the inside issuing licences to people who have bad agendas, that’s of grave concern,” Prof Lovell said.

Queensland drivers’ licences underwent a major overhaul in late 2010 to increase their security and prevent fraud.

As well as being embedded with a computer chip, the licences feature holograms and special ink to make them almost impossible to replicate.

Information posted on the TMR website states the former laminated licence “became increasingly vulnerable to tampering and fraud and needed to be replaced with more secure technology”.

Their introduction resulted in a doubling of the price for a five-year licence from $75 to $154.

Motorists generally have to wait up to two weeks for a new licence while they are made by Victorian company Placard and returned to Queensland.

The “unsmiling” images featured on the licences have been unpopular with motorists but lauded by experts as a key to reducing crime, and even terrorism.

The CCC refused to say what the fraudulently issued licences were being used for, or if they had been recovered by the crime-fighting agency.

It is also unknown what changes, if any, have been implemented at TMR to prevent the issue of licences without proper authorisation.

A department spokesman said they were unable to comment because it was the subject of an ongoing investigation by the CCC.


So much for the facial recognition system that was supposed to prevent people getting multiple drivers licences in different names. Why did we spend so many hundreds of millions for systems that don’t do what they claim?

2015

2016

2017

July 2017 to June 2018 drivers licence cost

  • One year licence | $76.25
  • Two year licence | $106.30
  • Three year licence | $131.55
  • Four year licence | $152.20
  • Five year licence | $170.75

2018

July 2018 to June 2019 drivers licence cost

  • One year licence | $78.90
  • Two year licence | $110.00
  • Three year licence | $136.15
  • Four year licence | $157.55
  • Five year licence | $176.75

Comparison of cards

Italy

Gemalto the same company that produces the card used in Queensland has a more advanced contactless version of the card used in Italy as a national ID card. The cost of this card is 16.79 Euros with an average cost of 23 Euros because some areas charge an administrative fee.

The contactless electronic identity card is a polycarbonate document including full name, date and place of birth, fiscal number, residence and citizenship, code of the city of issuance, issuance and expiration dates, authentication certificate, fingerprints and a digital version of the photo.

It appears the card has no expiry date so assuming 10 years this is AUD $30 or $3 per year but the Queensland Government charge us an extra $15 per year on top of the savings they are making by not having to produce their own cards inhouse.

The Rest of Europe

Costs vary from country to country but looking at countries with similar cards (these are not driver licences but are cards with the same or more capabilities inbuilt for which we are being charged over $15 per year by the Queensland Government). If these countries can supply these cards so cheaply why are we paying so much?

Estonia | €25 for 5 years

Germany | €28.80 for 10 years

Hungary | Free

Lithuania | €8.6 per 10 years (Same card as Queensland)

Implementation Costs

It’s hard to find a comparison however one system implemented in Bulgaria cost USD $139 million for a 10 year contract to develop and supply a system for issuing biometric identity documents. This includes 1 million passports and 2.8 million identity documents.

Estonia has a far more advanced contactless card that can be used to vote, public transport and a lot more and is used for ID cards, residence permit cards, digital IDs and diplomatic IDs. A new 5 year contract for this service cost €40 million | AUD $60 million.

The Estonian ID cards are used in health care, electronic banking, signing contracts, public transit, encrypting email and voting. Estonia offers over 600 e-services to citizens and 2400 to businesses. The card’s chip stores digitised data about the authorised user, most importantly: the user’s full name, gender, national identification number, and cryptographic keys and public key certificates.

The newest version of Estonia’s ID card, featuring additional security elements and a contactless interface. The new cards also utilise Estonia’s own font and elements of its brand. One new detail is the inclusion of a QR code, which will make it easier to check the validity of the ID card. The new design also features a color photo of its bearer, which doubles as a security element and is made up of lines; looking at the card at an angle, another photo appears. The new ID cards, however, have contactless functionality built in. The new chip has a higher capacity, allowing us to add new applications to it.

The promised features from 2003

Let’s see how this card delivered on it’s promises from 2003. Failed promises have a strike through them.

  • Reduce identity fraud
  • Allow you to keep emergency contact details on the card (all police cars would be fitted out with readers)
  • Remove the need for address on the licence (all businesses that need the address would have to have card readers to read the address for example at the time video stores, car rentals etc)
  • Allow business to be transacted online with the Transport Department
  • Public transport payment card
  • Used for vending machine and small transactions in stores

Summary

In summary the promises of the “Smart Card” were over-stated and aside from a higher security card that could have been achieved through the use of card printers replacing the existing laminating machines there has been no benefit except to the private companies involved in the manufacturing of the cards and systems that support it. Instead of choosing an off the shelf system as used throughout Europe we choose instead to deal with multiple companies to produce a solution to a problem that not only did not exist but we wasted vast amounts for features that will never be used.

Other countries have continued to update their cards and allowed them to be used for public transport and many other useful applications, our politicians just talk about us being a world leader all the time but nothing could be further from the truth. Politicians should be held responsible for their actions, they are paid incredibly well by world standards, they have vast resources at their snouts fingertips but they continue to mislead the public and throw away taxpayer money because there are no ramifications.

The quoted cost of implementing this system was $139 million however drivers are paying around $15 a year extra and with 3.6 million drivers in 2017 this is an additional cost of $54 million per year since 2010. By the year 2019 the government has profited by around $400 million and delivered a product that offers nothing that the deployment of secure card printers to each Transport office would have offered. By the time they look at replacing these cards it will be 2025-30 and over a billion dollars will have been wasted.

Ministers who should represent the taxpayer seem to instead be pushing the technology that lobby groups are promoting. What has occurred with the “Smart Card” licence in Queensland is nothing short of criminal, in the 9 years since implementation the additional costs to drivers has been in the order of $540 million of which over $400 million is profit for a “Smart Card” that delivered nothing.

Other countries like Estonia are actually leading the way with innovation, the Queensland Governments idea of innovation is to talk about it in Media Statements thinking that if they repeat it enough it will come true and they will fool citizens into believing their rubbish.

And to top it off they have just announced they are looking at creating a new digital drivers licence for your smartphone, yet another solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

Identity theft is still an issue and one partial solution to this problem would be to have a drivers licence number that changes with each renewal but operates in a similar way to virtual credit card numbers. The card number stays the same behind the scenes but from outwards appearance this is a new number. If you think that your drivers licence has been compromised just order a renewal and it will give you a new drivers licence number and the old one is voided. When someone applies for credit using the old card number it is flagged as expired and doesn’t go through.

This new driver licence was supposed to reduce the amount of identity fraud but it has achieved nothing as most fraud is committed online using your drivers licence number. Imagine if they used a system like in Estonia where you could use a secure smart card to prove your identity.

New road rules in Australia that will do nothing but kill people, logic once again out the window!

At first glance the road rules introduced by South Australia and now NSW and Victoria are there to save lives but the reality is all they do is kill people. No-one is suggesting that emergency workers do not deserve protection on the road but the rules introduced to save them have done anything but and have costs lives, people licenses and created confusion where you have different laws in different states that have not been communicated properly to the drivers especially those from interstate.

This points again to the problems with Australia where each state whilst following the Australian Road Rules also introduce their own laws without any regard to other states nor looking at the experiences in other countries.

These are the road rules in question for each of the states that have introduced them and following them is the simple rule that all drivers across Australia should be using.

South Australia

Drivers are now required to travel at 25km/h when driving through an emergency service speed zone. This law came into effect on 1 September 2014.

The 25km/h Emergency Service Speed Zone applies on an area of road:

  • In the immediate vicinity of an emergency service vehicle that has stopped on the road and is displaying a flashing blue or red light; or
  • Between two sets of flashing blue or red lights that have been placed by an emergency worker at either end of a length of road on which an emergency vehicle has stopped.
  • It does not apply if you are driving on a road that is divided by a median strip and the emergency service speed zone is on the other side of the road beyond the median strip.

An emergency services vehicle includes:

  • Ambulance
  • Fire service vehicle (CFS, MFS or Federal Aviation Rescue)
  • State Emergency Services (SES) vehicle
  • Police.

Penalties are the same as speeding, if in a 80, 100 or 110kph zone and you can’t or don’t slow down you face immediate loss of license no matter what state you come from.

Victoria

From 1 July 2017 you must slow down to a speed that would enable you to stop safely when approaching and passing enforcement, emergency or escort vehicles that are stationary or moving slowly (less than 10km/h)*, and have either:

  • Red and blue flashing lights
  • Magenta (purple flashing lights)
  • An alarm sounding.

You must not exceed 40km/h when passing the vehicle and not increase your speed until a safe distance from the scene (more on this below).

The new road rule does not apply to vehicles on the opposite side of a divided road (separated by a median strip) from an emergency or enforcement vehicle scene.

  • A fire truck extinguishing roadside spot fires is an example of a slow moving emergency vehicle.

A ‘safe distance’ has not been defined in the road rule because every incident will be different.

The infringement penalty for breaching the new road rule is 1.75 penalty units ($272.05), with the maximum court penalty of 5 penalty units ($777.30). No demerit points apply.

NSW

The new rule from the 1st of September 2018 requires motorists to slow down to 40km/h when passing a stationary emergency vehicle displaying blue or red flashing lights.

The rule also requires motorists to give way to any person on foot in the immediate area of the emergency vehicle. Motorists should not increase their speed until they are a safe distance past the vehicle.

For everyone’s safety, motorists must slow down to 40km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles displaying blue or red flashing lights
The rule applies to vehicles travelling in both directions, unless the road is divided by a median strip

Motorists who do not comply with the rule will face a $448 fine and three demerit points with the maximum court penalty of $2,200.

Western Australia

SLOMO (Slow Down, Move Over) law was introduced on the 2nd of March 2018.

The SLOMO law requires drivers to slow down to 40 km/h when approaching specific stationary emergency vehicles which are displaying flashing lights while attending an incident.

SLOMO applies to all emergency service vehicles and first response personnel who need to attend to roadside incidents very quickly. Their priority is the safety and survival of the person requiring assistance.

As well as emergency vehicles, SLOMO includes tow trucks, RAC roadside assistance patrol vehicles, and Main Roads Incident Response Vehicles, which assist with the removal of broken down vehicles and debris.

Vehicles travelling in oncoming traffic from the other direction will not be required to slow down.

However, if there is an incident that has occurred in the middle of the road or on a median strip for instance, traffic in both directions would be required to slow down if lanes in both directions are affected by an incident.

The penalty for this offence is three demerit points and $300.

Summary

Four states with four different laws that apply to different vehicles.

  • South Australia fines you for exceeding the 25kph speed limit and loss of license is easy, another state has a fine but no demerit points and two other states have different demerit points and fines.
  • Victoria requires you to slow for slow moving or stationary vehicles and the other three only for stationary.
  • West Australia requires you to move over where possible, the other three do not.
  • West Australia also doesn’t apply to traffic coming in the other direction without a median strip whereas the others do.
  • Each state applies the laws to different emergency vehicles and one includes roadside service.
  • Every state has different interpretations of how soon you can speed up again.

Problems with implementation

Victoria didn’t enter the correct offence code so all fines had to be withdrawn as three points were assigned to those fines when no points should apply. However police started issued summons to appear in court until the issue was resolved. [source]


It took just one day after Victoria’s new 40km/h speed limit when passing emergency vehicles was introduced before a big truck slammed into the rear of a small sedan writing it off. [source]


A NSW driver who was unaware of the 25km/h rule in South Australia was fined $1007, disqualified from driving for 6 months after driving past two police cars with their red and blue lights on in early 2018 before laws were introduced in NSW. The police were located 12m off the road and she passed them at a speed of 85km/h hour in a 110km/h zone. The driver was a female on her own travelling from Northern NSW to visit friends in Adelaide, she had driven for 49 years with no infringements and had to find a place to store her caravan and organise a lift to get back home. [source]


South Australian Police and RAA suggested an increase in speed to 40km/h”But SAPOL and the RAA said it had led to a potentially dangerous situation on stretches of high-speed road — the South-Eastern Freeway in particular.” The government however refuse to increase the speed. [source]


More ambiguity around the new laws with NSW Roads Minister, Melinda Pavey claiming that it’s up motorists how fast they slow down and to what speed. “In response to these concerns, NSW Roads Minister, Melinda Pavey, said it is up to motorists to assess whether it is safe to slow all the way down to 40km/h.

“To slam your breaks on to get down to 40 is dangerous and no one expects people to be driving in an unsafe manner,” she told ABC radio.

“We must be aware of what is behind us, appreciating and respecting that it takes a truck a lot longer to slow down.”” [source]


Cop injured under emergency speed rule [source]

What should we do?

Implement an Australian wide law similar to the United States move over laws which refer to requiring drivers to give a one lane buffer to stopped emergency vehicles. For example, while driving in the right lane, if the driver sees a stopped police car, the driver is required to move one lane over to the left to give enough buffer space to avoid any potential accidents.

Communicate changes to laws such as this by including an insert with vehicle registration papers as not everyone watches TV or reads News Papers to see advertising that is costly and ineffective. Distribute for free printed road rule refreshers at newsagencies, service stations and car servicing locations. Given that most people have to fill their car advertise road rule changes on the pumps or other parts of the service station.

The idea that it’s safe to have to brake heavily from 110km/h to 40km/h or 25km/h shows just how out of touch our lawmakers are.

Another system to use in conjunction with the United States move over laws is to look at how they deal with this in Germany with their unrestricted autobahns, police use a digital sign in the rear window to indicate to the driver to follow and they pull over in a safe location away from the road. Another easy solution to this problem that the Australian Governments will never consider just like the United States one above.

Simply put, Australian Governments will never introduce clear uniform laws across all the states.

Just when you thought that Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme was already complicated along come additional inane requirements!

The companies and organisations involved in the Container Refund Scheme (CRS) have their own rules on how containers are to be returned and with very few sites having Reverse Vending Machines they require you to register your details including bank account, bag up the containers, return them to a Container Refund Point and wait up to six weeks for a refund after they are manually counted.

If the manual count gives a substantially lower number like it has for many people there is no avenue to dispute this.

Each of these Container Refund Points have their own rules on the types of bags, some will provide you bags but often run out and if this is the case you have to travel to another CRP until you find one with bags that you can use. Most of the Container Refund Points will not let you use single use bags, instead you have to buy from the supermarket stronger multiple use bags and nearly all of them will not accept black bags for the safety of the sorting staff so this requires the purchase of more expensive clear bags.

Now one of the companies that requires you to use their own orange coloured bags Envirobank require you to put in exactly 50 containers, no more and no less or they will declare the bag as ineligible (see below for details). But it continues to get better, you cannot drop off 11 bags or more, if you have 501 containers or more you have to go to a depot and make a Statutory Deceleration which will require you to find a Justice of the Peace to witness the signature. All this for $50.10 or more! You couldn’t make this up!

Checking their website there is no mention of the 50 container requirement on their How It Works page which shows a very simple process. Further to this they operate an ineligible bag policy that allows them to keep the containers and void your payment so if you put in 49 or 51 containers it’s goodbye refund!

I checked the Queensland Legislation on this and can find no reference to 500 containers however found that NSW requires a statutory declaration to be made that you purchased the containers in NSW so it’s unknown if they impose this requirement in Queensland or not.

Queensland Legislation does contain this however but it is not clear where and when this applies.

Division 3 Refund amounts for empty containers 20 Bulk quantity—Act, s99T New section 20 defines bulk quantity, for the purposes of providing a refund declaration to a container refund point operator, as at least 1,500 empty containers.

Container Refund Scheme Regulation 2018

Looking at their terms of service shows even more strange requirements including their right to keep your containers without paying you compensation if you include any ineligible containers or waste.

This is also confirmed on a popular forum.

One of the recycling scheme vendors in Queensland (Envirobank) just announced that they will only accept bags that have exactly 50 containers in it. If you have less, you forfeit the entire bag. I exclusively use 1.25L bottles and therefore it is impossible to get 50 into a bag. This is getting beyond ridiculous. I clearly won’t use them anymore but my incentive to use this scheme in general is further diminished.

Whirlpool Post

The even have instructions on how to use the bags, instead of creating a bag that is easy to use they have instead forced the onus onto those returning containers to figure out a solution.

Q. How do I close my orange bags properly?

A. It may seem like a silly question, but it’s more complicated than you think.

You know that the product your delivering is overly complex when you need such lengthy instructions on closing a bag and which make you have such lengthy terms and conditions and terms of service.

All this for a Container Refund Scheme that is truly a fantastic example of Idiocracy. The CRS could have required Reverse Vending Machines to be installed at Supermarkets so you can return your containers from the place you purchased them from when you go shopping. But why go simple, logical and cheap when you can do the opposite?

Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme now requires lids to be removed for safety!

The stupidity of the Queensland Government Container Refund Scheme really knows no bounds, not content with the inefficiency of this complicated, expensive and cumbersome system when much simpler and cheaper options exist they have now require lids to be removed!

Two reasons are given, one is safety as the lids can fly off at high speed apparently and the other is that the plastic of the lid is different and they don’t recycle it. But why is this the problem of the person returning these bottles, do they now transport bottles in their vehicle that leak or do they spend time removing lids at the Container Refund Points and throw them into the landfill bin?

All other countries that offer refunds on containers accept them back with with the lids, the Reverse Vending Machines used throughout parts of Europe and other parts of the world have no problems with lids being fitted and many of these actually crush the bottle to reduce the storage space required in the store. Googling for deaths or injuries from “bottle tops” has found nothing so why is Queensland and the rest of Australia so special that these pose a real and imminent danger? Over the top workplace heath and safety laws? Stupidity? Who really knows.

From the Containers for Change Instagram post on this subject.

The lids off policy is not working. It is ‘encouraging’ littering near the refund collection points. This morning I picked up 242 plastic lids that were thrown in the surrounding roadside vegetation. This scheme was set up to address littering – it is obviously lids MUST be included in the scheme to decrease this littering. The full container must be recovered not just the ‘valuable/easy to recycle PET.

plasticfreeseas – Take off your container caps – Instagram

Hi @plasticfreeseas – we appreciate your help with this. Hi Tracey, lids and bottles are different types of plastic so need to be recycled separately. Lids can also cause safety issues, shooting off bottles at high speeds if they’re crushed. So if you’re returning your containers to a container refund point or recycling them through your Council bin, the lids need to be taken off. Our CRPs have bins at their sites if people forget to do this before arriving.

4changeqld – Take off your container caps – Instagram

@4changeqld Yes I know the plastics are different types. That is not an excuse not to recycle the whole container just the PET. I’m all for separating the lids for safety reasons but there is a responsibility for the scheme to deal with this part of the container not landfill them (or have them end up as small bits of litter). This is a flaw in the scheme fundamentals and should be addressed alongside the PET container. Offsetting this externality of business is unacceptable practice.

plasticfreeseas – Take off your container caps – Instagram

As usual all the hard questions that make sense are ignored such as the following.

So now everyone is asked to drive all the way to a depot to deliver bottles. What will that cost the environment? Kerbside recycling seems far more environmental on that measure.

peterstelmach – Take off your container caps – Instagram

And the following which is only responded to with a contact us message. These issues are quite common and they have made it clear on their website that they will not look into any discrepancies.

I have been saving my eligible bottles for 2 months now. I dropped them off in 6 filled garbage bags and just got my notice that I was paid $2.50. Please explain. I feel that I have been scammed and to think that my whole family have been on a recycling mission to do our best for the environment. We were going to invest the money into a recycling system to help us continue this program at our business. $2.50 might get us some plastic garbage bags to put future bottles in. However, we thought the aim was to REDUCE the use of plastics. Not create more once use wastage.

no_sixty8 – Take off your container caps – Instagram

Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme is utter rubbish!

Queensland Container Refund Sham Scheme

A Container Refund Scheme introduced in 2018 after over 2 years of planning should be a well thought out and planned cost effective scheme that works from the outset with minimal change required by those using it? Right? Well not in Queensland nor the rest of Australia it seems.

Far far away in Germany they have a container refund scheme (called the Pfandsystem – the German word for Deposit is Pfand) that just works (well mostly but more on this later), visit almost any supermarket or bottle shop and deposit your bottles or cans (containers) into a Reverse Vending Machine at the entry and receive a coupon that is redeemable in that store for goods or cash.

So what system did they choose in Queensland? Surely we would have learnt from the South Australia system that requires people to drive to depots and queue on a Saturday morning to cash in their containers? Not really because in Queensland we have chosen to have Container Refund Points that are mostly manual sorting and counting with the occasional Reverse Vending Machine. If you use one of the rare Reverse Vending Machine locations it depends on the recycling company as to how you are paid.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch knows the Queensland scheme is under the spotlight by other states.

“Our scheme has been developed following extensive consultation, and we are proud with the model that has been developed,” Ms Enoch said.

This extensive consultation was a four week period of public submissions where they received 2600 individual submissions and 34 from Organisations. Breaking down the individual figure shows that 1724 were via a petition by the Australian Marine Conservation Society, a further 858 from members of the Boomerang Alliance (I assume form letters) which means there were only 18 real submissions and one of these was against a Container Refund Scheme.

To be proud of the model that they “developed” is hard to understand, they copied the same outdated model that the other states have adopted and have ignored overseas experience.

Implementing Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme – Discussion Paper

Implementing the Container Refund Scheme in Queensland – Results of consultation

Waste Reduction and Recycling (Container Refund Scheme) Regulation 2018

COEX Board Acting Chair Alby Taylor said

“Our aim is to build a sustainable, world-class container refund scheme.”

Queensland Government Media Statement Sunday October 21, 2018

The phrase world-class is thrown around by politicians when trying to sell us on their idiotic plans by pretending to the masses that we are among the world’s best and this usage of the phrase is no exception.

world-class [wurld-klas, -klahs]
ranking among the world’s best; outstanding:  [Dictionary.com]
being of the highest caliber in the world: [Merriam-Webster]

It will become apparent that the Queensland Container Refund Scheme is as far from world-class that you can get.

Operation

The scheme is operated by COEX (Containers Exchange) that operates under the name Containers for Change and funded by the beverage manufacturers who have to pay the operating costs that range from the cost of collection, sorting, counting, transport and so on but they have passed these costs on to the consumer.

Every three months the cost of the scheme will be reassessed and adjusted.

Mr Alby Taylor, Container Exchange Board Chair, indicated that the estimated weighted average cost for the start of the Queensland scheme was 10.2 cents per container supplied.

Material Type [source] Cents per unit sold (ex GST)
Aluminium 9.9
Glass 10.5
HDPE 10.6
PET 10.3
LPB 10.6
Expected weighted average by number of containers sold  10.2

This example from Woolworths shows a 24 pack of Coke at $20 will now cost $22.72. GST is also paid on the deposit but this is not refunded so effectively you pay 11c per container plus a share of the running costs and you are only refunded 10c per container.

$20 + $2.47 deposit and administration + $0.25 GST = $22.72.

24 containers x 10.2c = $2.45 extra, the Woolworths example is 11.3c. The public have been misled again.

In Germany the cost of the product is shown separately and the Pfand is shown as an additional price on the shelf. This is much more transparent and the other benefit of showing it as a separate price is that you know what you can return to get your deposit back.

Refunds

There are a multitude of options for Refunds and these vary from site to site and from region to region (there are 14 different regions setup for this scheme). Bottles and cans purchased from another state are not eligible for the refund.

  • Bank Account

You can create a Scheme Account with Containers for Change (COEX) and supply your bank details for refunds into your bank account. There are a number of references to an app called Containers for Change but this does not seem to exist. Many of the Container Refund Points will be Drop-off where you drop off your containers in bags and these are manually counted with the deposit transferred to your bank account two to three weeks later.

  • Cash

Some Container Refund Points will offer cash refunds.

  • Donation

Most Container Refund Points will offer donations as an option.

  • PayPal

At TOMRA sites you can link their app with your PayPal account and receive your refund from Reverse Vending Machines this way.

  • Voucher

TOMRA sites are affiliated with Woolworths and will offer you a Woolsworths voucher, Envirobank sites are affiliated with Coles and will offer you a Coles voucher. The voucher at TOMRA sites will be via the app if you used it otherwise it will be via paper voucher.

Recycling Locations (Container Refund Point)

The government claims that over 230 CRPs are available from day one however the list shows that of the 241 on the list that 40 are TBA! See list below. There are only 201 locations available from day one according to the list provided by the government and further some of the locations are “pop up” facilities that will only operate on an part-time basis like weekends.

A searchable map is available on the Containers for Change Website.

There are five types of Contain Refund Points, depots, drop-offs, Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs), mobile and pop-ups, and Donation Points.

The population of Queensland is 4.691 million (December 2013) so there is one site per 23,338 people.

SuburbAddressType
Acacia Ridge28 Elizabeth Street - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Agnes Waters91 Rocky CrossingMobile - CQ Recycling
Albany CreekAlbany Creek Road and Wruck CrescentDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Alexandra Headland167 Alexandra ParadeDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
AllenstownTBADrop off
AnnandaleAnnandale CentralDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
AnnerleyTBADrop off - Return-It
Arana Hills5/131 Bunya RoadDepot - U Can Recycle
Archerfield17 Boniface Street - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Arundel11 Byth Street - AEIOUDrop off - Return-It
Ashmore1/16 Hinde StreetDepot - Envirobank Recycling
AspleyAspley HypermarketDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
AthertonRailway Line - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Banyo915 Nudgee RoadDepot - Envirobank Recycling
BargaraTBADrop off - Return-It
Beenleigh61 Alamein Street - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
BenowaBenowa VillageDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Bigerra WatersTreasure Cove Shopping Centre - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Biggenden27 Edward StretMobile - U Can Recycle
BilingaBilinga Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Biloela156 Calvale RoadDepot - Biloela Recycling
BlackwaterCapricorn HighwayDepot - Kanga Bins
BoonahHigh Street - VinniesDepot - Return-It
BowenBowen Bowls ClubDrop off - Anything Environmental
Brendale256 Leitchs Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
BrightonTBADrop off - Return-It
BroadbeachKurrawa Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Bromelton36 Waste Facility RoadDrop off - Beaudesert Transfer Station
Browns Plains58 Eastern Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Browns PlainsCnr Browns Plains Road and Mt Lindesay HighwayDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
BucasiaTBADrop off - Anything Environmental
Buderim10 Kayleigh DriveDepot - Envirobank Recycling
Bundaberg31-33 Victoria StreetDepot - ABC Recycling
Bundaberg78 University DriveDepot - Impact Community Services
Bundaberg70 Princess Street - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
Bundaberg North4/121 George StreetDepot - CQ Recycling
BundallTBADrop off - Return-It
Bungalow152 Newell StreetDepot - IMODE
Burkedin32876 Bruce HighwayDepot - AMDETT Services and Plastic Recycling
Burleigh Heads5-7 Kortum Drive - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Burleigh WatersTBADrop off - Return-It
Burleigh WatersTreetops PlazaDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Burnett Heads699 Bundaberg-Bargara RoadMobile - CQ Recycling
Burpengary290 Bruce Highway - Eastern Service Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
BurpengaryBurpengary Central Shopping CentreDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Caboolture16 Machinery ParadeDepot - Caboolture Scrap Metal
Caboolture686 The Abbey PlaceDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
CairnsFranzmann StreetDepot - Palm Tree Recyclers
CalliopeCalliope Bunting Park - Archer StreetMobile - CQ Recycling
Caloundra1 Spender LaneDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Cannon HillTBADrop off - Return-It
Cannonvale3102 Shute Harbour Road - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Canungra2036 Beaudesert - Nerang RoadDrop Off - Canungra Transfer Station
Capalaba16/82 Redland Bay RoadDepot - Advanced Metal Recyclers
Capalaba6 Merrit Street (Lifeline)Drop off - Return-It
Capalaba7/71 Redland Bay Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Capella5 Hibernia RoadDepot - Kanga Bins
Charters Towers50 Aland StreetDepot - Cash 4 Containers
CherbourgStan Mickelo DriveDepot - Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council
Childers71 Churchill StreetMobile - U Can Recycle
Chinchilla19 Malduf StreetDepot - Western Downs Outreach Project
ClermontClermont Grand HotelDrop off - Anything Environmental
Cleveland25-32 Shore Street - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
CollinsvilleStanley StreetDrop off - Anything Environmental
Coochiemudlo IslandCoochiemudlo Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
CooktownMacMillan StreetDepot - Auwaste
Coolangatta2 Snapper Rocks RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Coolum Beach1775-1779 David Low WayDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Crestmead67-69 Rai DriveDepot - TOMRA
Currajong216-230 Woolcock Street - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Currumbin741 Pacific ParadeDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Dalby95 Cunningham Street - LifelieDrop off - Return-It
Darra18 Sumners RoadDepot - The Big Red Shed
DeeragunTBCMobile drop off
Dicky BeachDicky Beach Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
DraytonAnzac Avenue and Boothby Street - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
Dugandan10 Evans RoadDrop off - Boonah Transfer Station
DystartJolly Collier HotelDrop off - Anything Environmental
Eagleby104 River Hills Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Earlville479 Mulgrave Road - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Emerald10 Glasson StreetDepot - Return-It
Emu ParkEmu Park, Scenic HwyDepot - Kanga Bins
Esk2 Heap StreetMobile - Pipeliner Park
Fernvale1483 Brisbane Valley HighwayMobile - Fernvale Futures Centre
Forest LakeTBADrop off - The Big Red Shed
Garbutt37-41 Mackley StreetDepot - Return-It
Gatton64 Fords RoadDepot - Gatton Tip Shop
Gatton9 Byrne Street - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
GayndahBurnett HotelMobile - U Can Recycle
Geebung428 Bilsen RoadDepot - TOMRA
Geebung8 Railway Parade - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Gladstone66 Yarroon StreetDepot - CQ Recycling
Gladstone29 Chappell StreetDepot - Kanga Bins
GladstoneTBADrop off - Return-It
Goondiwindi81 Hungerford StreetDepot - E&E Waste
Gordonvale62 Norman Street - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Gordonvale1 Brody StreetDepot - Cash 4 Containers
GracemereCorner of Allen Road and Lucas StreetDepot - Kanga Bins
GympieSmith StreetDepot - Return-It
Hervey Bay9 Industrial AvenueDrop off - Cleanaway
HillcrestTBADrop off - Return-It
Howard79 William StreetMobile - U Can Recycle
InalaTBADrop off - The Big Red Shed
Ingham21 Challands StreetDepot - MAMS
Inglewood750 Pump Station RoadDrop Off - E&E Waste
Innisfail5-7 Dickson RoadDepot - MAMS
Innisfail42 Ernest Street - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
JimboombaTBADepot - Return-It
Jindalee24 Goggs RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Kallangur1473 Anzac Avenue - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Karalee259-277 Mt Crosby RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Kedron46 Millway StreetDepot - Return-It
KenmoreTBADrop off - Return-It
KensingtonTBADrop off - Return-It
KeperraTBADrop off - Return-It
Kilcoy32-40 D'Aguilar HighwayMobile - Yowie Park
Kilkivan27 Bligh StreetDepot - Post Office
Kingaroy189 Kingaroy Street - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
Kunda Park5 Pike StreetDepot - TOMRA
Laidley63 Burgess RoadDrop off - Laidley Transfer Station
Lawnton690 Gympie Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Logan Central114 Wembley Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Logan CentralWoodridge PlazaDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Loganholme61-65 Bryants RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Lutwyche554 Lutwyche RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
MacGregor555 Kessels RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
MackayTBADrop off - Anything Environmental
Mackay287 Shakespeare Street - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
Main BeachSouthport Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Manunda16 Adelaide StreetDrop off - Return-It
Marcoola64-76 Marcoola EsplanadaDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Mareeba138 Walsh Street - VinniesDrop off - Return-It
Mareeba11 Bowers StreetDepot - Cash 4 Containers
Margate25 Beaconsfield Street - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
MarianTBADrop off - Anything Environmental
Maroochydore25 First AvenueDrop off - Return-It
Maryborough3 Kingston DriveDepot - U Can Recycle
Maryborough300 Kent StreetDrop off - U Can Recycle
Maryborough20 Gympie Road - LifelineDrop off - Return-It
MeadowbrookL13 Facilities Lane - AEIOUDrop off - Return-It
Mermaid BeachTBADrop off - Return-It
Mermaid Beach172 Hedges AvenueDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Mermaid BeachNobby's Beach Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
MiddlemountMiddlemount HotelDrop off - Anything Environmental
Molendinar3-9 Precision Drive - SalvosDepot - Return-It
MontoGrand HotelMobile - U Can Recycle
MooloolabaMooloolaba Surf Life Saving ClubDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
MoranbahBlack Nugget HotelDrop off - Anything Environmental
Morayfield158-166 Morayfield Road - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Mossman13/5 Pioneer CloseDepot - Port Douglas Recycling
Mount IsaJessop DriveMount Isa City Council
Mount Morgan78 James StreetDepot - K.L Webster
Mount PleasantGrand View DriveDrop off - Anything Environmental
Moura44-46 Dawson HighwayDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Mudgeeraba196-206 Highfield DriveDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
Murarrie913 Lytton RoadDepot - United Scrap Metal
Nambour9-13 Mill StreetDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine - Envirobank Recycling
NeboTBADrop off - Anything Environmental
Nerang23-25 Station Street - SalvosDrop off - Return-It
Newstead52 Doggett Street -SalvosDrop off - Return-It
NewtownTBADrop off- Return-It
Noosa HeadsNoosa Fair Shopping Centre, 10 Lanyana WayDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
NoosavilleTBADrop off- Return-It
North MackayJohn Breen Park, Malcolmson Street, Malcolmson StDrop off- Return-It
North MackayBassett St, Cnr Brewers Rd & Broad StDrop off- Return-It
Oakey77 Campbell StreetDepot - Post Office
OoraleaTBADrop off- Return-It
OrmistonTBADrop off- Return-It
OxenfordTBADrop off- Return-It
Oxley63 Factory Road - VinniesDrop off- Return-It
Paget19 Interlink CourtDepot - Return-It
Paget42 Crichtons Road - Incredables DepotDepot - Return-It
Palm Beach2 Eighth Avenue - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Palm BeachTBADrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Palm Island48 The EsplanadeDepot- Return-It
Parkhurst334 Leichhardt StreetDepot- Return-It
Peregian SpringsPeregian Springs Shopping Centre, 1 Ridgeview DriveDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
PialbaTBADrop off- Return-It
Pittsworth37 Grevillea Street, PO Box 432Depot- Pittsworth Metals
ProserpineProserpine Metropole Hotel, 80 Main StDrop off- Return-It
Raceview30 East Owen streetDrop off- Return-It
Red Hill80 Gelnrosa Road - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Redbank PlainsRedbank Plains Rd & Argyle StDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
RedcliffePeninsula Surf Life Saving Club, Lot 1 Marine ParadeDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
RedcliffeAshmole Road & Klingner RoadDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Rosewood25 John Street - VinniesDepot - Return-It
Rothwell739 Deception Bay Road - SalvosDrop Off - Return-It
Runaway BayRunaway Bay Shopping Village, Cnr Bayview St & Lae DrvDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Rural ViewNorthern Beaches, Carl Court, 2 Rosewood DriveDrop Off - Return-It
Salisbury655 Toohey RoadDepot - TOMRA Collection
Samford ValleySamford Vally Commons, Mt Samson RoadDepot - Carticus Projects Pty Ltd
Sandgate77 Rainbow Street - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
SarinaSarina Leagues Club, Broad StDrop off- Return-It
SarinaTBADrop off- Return-It
SeaforthSeaforth Reserve RoadDrop off- Return-It
Seventeen Mile Rocks9 Counihan RoadDepot - TOMRA Collection
Sherwood450 Sherwood Road - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Sinnamon Park532 Seventeen Mile Rocks Road - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Slacks CreekTBADrop off- Return-It
South MackayMilton Street South MackayDrop off- Return-It
South Toowoomba689-691 Ruthven StreetDrop off- Return-It
Southport15 Nind Street - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
SpringfieldTBADrop off- Return-It
Springsure53 Gap StreetDepot- Kanga Bins
St Lucia342 Carmody RoadDepot - Post Office
Stanthorpe14 Maryland StDepot - Post Office
StratfordTBADrop off- Return-It
Sumner ParkTBADrop off- Return-It
SunnybankSunnybank Plaza Shopping Centre, 358 Mains RdDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Surfers Paradise51 Garfield TerraceDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Tamborine Mountain137 Knoll RdDrop off- Return-It
Taroom14 Yaldwyn StreetDepot - Kanga Bins
TexasTexas-Inglewood RoadDrop off- Return-It
Thuringowa CentralTBADrop off- Return-It
Tingalpa302-308 New Cleveland RoadDepot - TOMRA Collection
Tingalpa1469 Wynnum RoadDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Toowoomba3/19 Carrington RoadDepot - E & E Waste
Toowoomba169 James StreetDepot - TOMRA Collection
Townsville275 Flinders Street - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
TownsvilleUnit 2/14 Keane StreetDepot - Reef Townsville Site
TugunTBADrop off- Return-It
TullyTully Showground - Butler StreetMobile - Tully Mobile
Tully26/58 Butler Street - VinniesDrop off- Return-It
Underwood3255 Logan Road - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Varsity Lakes2 Flint CourtDepot - TOMRA Collection
Victoria PointTBADrop off- Return-It
WalkerstonTBADrop off- Return-It
Warwick30 King Street - lifelineDrop off- Return-It
West End281 Montague RoadDepot - TOMRA Collection
West EndTBADrop off- Return-It
West Ipswich355 Brisbane StreetDepot - TOMRA Collection
West IpswichTBADepot - Return-It
Woorabinda116 Munns StreetDepot - Kanga Bins
WoorimTBADrop off- Return-It
Woree14 Spoto Street - VinniesDepot - Return-It
Wynnum119 Bay Terrace - SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Wynnum WestWynnum Plaza Shopping Centre, 2021 Wynnum RdDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
YandinaTBADepot - Return-It
YarrabahThe EsplanadeDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Cash 4 Containers

Queensland’s container refund scheme commenced on 1 November 2018, with more than 230 container refund points in operation across the state. The number of these sites will continue to grow as the scheme rolls out.

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There are currently 33 locations in the Brisbane area, however if you remove the small drop off locations that are an add-on to an existing retail location such as Salvos, Vinnies and Post Offices the number drops to 17 and if we only look at locations that have Reverse Vending Machines this drops to 9.

Nine locations with Reverse Vending Machines to service a population of 2.177 million people (as at 2014). Looking at all 33 locations this is 65,969 people per location, taking out the smaller add-on locations this is 17 locations each servicing 128,058 people and the Reverse Vending Machine locations have to service 241,888 people.

Looking at two of the larger facilities with Reverse Vending Machines in Brisbane the TOMRA site at West End will have parking for 35 vehicles and Geebung with parking for 13 vehicles.

SuburbAddressType
Acacia Ridge28 Elizabeth Street – VinniesDrop off – Return-It
Albany CreekAlbany Creek Road and Wruck CrescentDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine – Envirobank Recycling
Arana Hills5/131 Bunya RoadDepot – U Can Recycle
Archerfield17 Boniface Street – SalvosDrop off – Return-It
AspleyAspley HypermarketDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine – Envirobank Recycling
Brendale256 Leitchs Road – SalvosDrop off – Return-It
Capalaba16/82 Redland Bay RoadDepot – Advanced Metal Recyclers
Capalaba6 Merrit Street (Lifeline)Drop off – Return-It
Capalaba7/71 Redland Bay Road – SalvosDrop off – Return-It
Cleveland 25-32 Shore Street – SalvosDrop off – Return-It
Darra18 Sumners RoadDepot – The Big Red Shed
Geebung428 Bilsen RoadDepot – TOMRA
Geebung8 Railway Parade – SalvosDrop off – Return-It
Jindalee24 Goggs RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine – Envirobank Recycling
Lutwyche554 Lutwyche RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine – Envirobank Recycling
MacGregor555 Kessels RoadDrop off and Reverse Vending Machine – Envirobank Recycling
Murarrie913 Lytton RoadDepot – United Scrap Metal
Newstead52 Doggett Street -SalvosDrop off – Return-It
Oxley63 Factory Road – VinniesDrop off- Return-It
Red Hill80 Gelnrosa Road – SalvosDrop off- Return-It
RedcliffePeninsula Surf Life Saving Club Lot 1 Marine ParadeDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
RedcliffeAshmole Road & Klingner RoadDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
Salisbury655 Toohey RoadDepot – TOMRA Collection
Sandgate77 Rainbow Street – SalvosDrop off- Return-It
SeventeenMile Rocks 9 Counihan RoadDepot – TOMRA Collection
Sherwood450 Sherwood Road – SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Sinnamon Park532 Seventeen Mile RocksRoad – Salvos Drop off- Return-It
St Lucia342 Carmody RoadDepot – Post Office
Tingalpa302-308 New Cleveland RoadDepot – TOMRA Collection
Tingalpa1469 Wynnum RoadDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling
West End281 Montague RoadDepot – TOMRA Collection
Wynnum119 Bay Terrace – SalvosDrop off- Return-It
Wynnum WestWynnum Plaza Shopping Centre 2021 Wynnum RdDrop Off and Reverse Vending Machine- Envirobank Recycling

108 of the locations are operated by Return-It who perform manual sorting and counting when you drop in your containers. Their locations include depots and drops-off points in charity stores, most of which are open limited hours on weekends. To use the drop-off points you have to place your containers inside a bag and place a label on the bag with your Scheme Account ID or Donation Point ID and the refund will be transferred to your bank account in two to three weeks after they are counted manually.

The bag must not be a single use plastic bag but the requirement varies depending on who runs the location. Some say they must be a re-usable clear bag like a rubbish bag, others require you to use their bags with a drawstring but they ask you to use a ringpull from a can to close the drawstring and others ask you to use the re-usable bags from the supermarkets. The sites that require a specific bag to be used will often require you to transfer them into the bag on-site from whatever you used to carry them there. The bags are not returned to you.

Your average reusable supermarket bag is $1 and can hold around 15 bottles which you will receive back $1.50 for. After the cost of the bag this is 50c returned and doesn’t include the costs of the next issue.

Another issue is making special trips to return containers. Most Queensland households currently have a recycle bin that is collected every fortnight but are now expected to put the suitable containers aside until they have enough to justify driving to a  Container Refund Point.  Assuming an average round trip of 10km this is a cost of $6.60 using the ATO per kilometer rate of 66c and doesn’t include the time lost on something that is pointless. The average CO2 emissions for a light vehicle in Australia is 188 grams per kilometre so that is 1.88kg of emissions per trip.

The average aluminium 375ml can weighs 14.9 grams (Australian Aluminium Council) and the amount of CO2 released from creating 1 tonne of aluminium is 1.5 tonnes (Greener Industry). Each can has released 22.35 grams of CO2. If you return less than 84 cans on an average 10km trip you have released more CO2 than the creation of those cans.

To break even from a cost perspective you need to return an average of 66 containers.

Container Types

Most aluminium, steel, glass, plastic and some cardboard containers that range in size up to 3 litres can be returned for a refund.

However the following are not

  • plain milk containers
  • glass containers which have contained wine or pure spirits
  • large containers (1L or more) which have contained flavoured milk, pure juice, cask wine or cask water
  • cordial or vegetable juice containers
  • sachets above 250ml which have contained wine
  • registered health tonics.

Reverse Vending Machines

The Queensland Government has decided to give the Reverse Vending Machines a new name “Smart Pods”. This should be retired like our “Smart State” label and we should use the name that the rest of the world uses.

These machines must be expensive or the government would surely have rolled them out like in Germany? You would think that these machines are made of Gold the way in which they are so sparingly dispersed around the state. A standalone non compacting Reverse Vending Machine that takes up the space of an ATM costs around AUD $12,000. Compacting models that crush the cans and plastics enabling them to hold a lot more are also available.

The cost of these machines would likely be cost neutral even in large quantities as the new Container Recycling Scheme is incredibly inefficient.

Other States

NSW

The NSW government’s scheme, launched on December 1, 2017, has been heavily criticised for pushing up the price of drinks without any environmental benefit, given 80 per cent of bottles and cans were already being recycled via yellow bins.

[source]

In April, The Australian reported the five biggest drinks manufacturers — Coca-Cola Amatil, Carlton United Brewers, Lion, Coopers and Asahi — were pocketing $34 million a month in unclaimed “deposits”.

The paper reported that just 13 per cent of eligible bottles and cans were being returned and Exchange for Change, the company formed by the five drinks makers to manage the scheme, simply hands the unclaimed money back to them.

[source]

There has been ongoing criticism of delays ahead of the rollout with some residents having to travel up to three hours to collect their 10 cents and others travelling across the border to save money.

[source]

Western Australia

WOOLWORTHS has warned it could be forced to increase some drink prices by 60 per cent in Western Australia if the State Government pushes ahead with a container deposit scheme similar to the NSW government’s disastrous “Return and Earn” program.

“The CDS will have a significant cost-of-living impact on our customers,” Woolworths government relations manager Richard Fifer wrote. “Based on an increase of 15 cents per item, a 24x600ml pack of Woolworths still water will rise from $6 to $9.60, which is an increase of 60 per cent.”

[source]

 

Other Countries

Ideally you would look to see how other countries have approached recycling and learn from their experience.

In the Implementing Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme – Discussion Paper there are three countries used as Case Studies; Canada, Norway and California. For some reason they choose not to look at Germany who has probably the simplest system from a consumers perspective.

Germany – Pfandsystem

The Pfandsystem in Germany is not perfect but it’s many many times better then the dogs breakfast that we have implemented in Queensland. The current system was implemented in 2003 and expanded in 2006 however Germany has for a long history of deposits on bottles.

The intention of the Pfand system was to encourage the uptake of Mehrwegflaschen (multi-use refillable plastic and glass bottles) however this has not eventuated with some of the major companies like Coca-Cola switching to Einwegflaschen (single use bottles and cans) due to the logistics of reusing bottles. Multi-use plastic bottles can be reused around 25 times and glass bottles around 50 times.

All stores and supermarkets above a certain size that sell bottled products must have a Pfandrückgabestelle (area to return bottles) generally in the form of a Pfandautomat (Deposit Machine or more commonly known as Reverse Vending Machine). The system is straight forward if you are using single use plastic bottles or cans as generally all machines will accept these bottles or cans with the exception of ones purchased outside Germany or imported products like Fanta Pineapple which is direct imported from the USA.

Where it gets complicated is returning multi-use refillable bottles to different stores or in different regions as some stores may not accept bottles that are irregular shaped or foreign (not sold at that location). Some locations (generally discount stores) will only accept single use bottles and cans as this is all they sell and they have a Reverse Vending Machine that crushes to save space. Stores of under 200m² can restrict the returns to products that they sell.

The Getränkemarkt (equivalent to a bottle shop in Australia) will generally take a much wider range of bottles back and they often have an additional tray in the Reverse Vending Machine for you to put the Crate with empty bottles in so they can be all processed at once.

Generally juice, milk, wine and spirits are not covered by the Pfandsystem as well as the packaging of food products.

The Deutsche Pfandgesellschaft (deposit clearing house) co-ordinates the distribution of the Pfand (deposit).

Pfand rates

(all in Euro)

Multi-use

  • Glass bottles 330 and 500ml – 8c
  • Glass bottles 750 and 1000ml – 15c
  • Plastic 15c
  • Crates (returned full of empty bottles) – €3.10 + the deposit paid on the bottles

Single-use

  • Plastic bottles – 25c
  • Aluminium cans – 25c

Some further reading on the Pfand system in Germany.

How Does The German Pfand System Work, And Is It Effective?

How the system could have worked

The current Container Recycling Scheme is a total shambles, it’s expensive to operate, it requires consumers to make special trips to return containers, it employs thousands of people to manually sort containers and it just makes NO SENSE. Why not allow customers to return their bottles and cans at the point of sale so they don’t need to make a special trip to a recycling centre and all the complexity that is involved in getting a refund.

For the initial roll-out the government should have mandated supermarkets deploy one of these machines per suburb per chain with a long term goal to have these in all supermarkets over a certain size, the costs for deployment are minimal and could be shared by the supermarkets and the producers as they both should take responsibility. The refund can be made via a paper voucher that you present at the checkout, no need to have dozens of complex payment variations that vary from suburb to suburb.

Unfortunately once again the governments in Australia at all levels have totally and utterly failed what could have been a simple roll-out and have placed the burden on taxpayers along with the increased costs and complexity of running the Container Recycling Scheme.

The Queensland Government loaned the Container Recycling Scheme $35 million dollars to start up. if this was spent instead on Reverse Recycling Machines it would have purchased over 2900 @ $12,000 each which is three times the number of machines required! In Queensland there would be around 600-1000* larger supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths, ALDI, IGA and other independents) so the costs of deploying and all the infrastructure required could have been covered by the cost of starting up the sham system we have now or we could have spent no money and left this to the supermarkets and the producers to fund.

Does it make financial or environmental sense to return bottles and cans via a special trip especially when it would be cheaper to have Reverse Vending Machines at the point of sale?

Thousands of people are employed to sort out bottles and cans mostly manually and process refunds, is this gainful employment or just the creation of jobs to support a poorly thought out and inefficient scheme.

This is a backwards step, most Queensland households have recycling bins that are collected every fortnight but are now forced to make a special trip to perform the exact same task. Someone who always recycles and consumes a small number of products that are covered by the Container Recycling Scheme would find it very hard to justify a journey given the number of containers needed to be collected to offset the running costs and the CO2 emissions. Their options are to collect a large number of containers over a long period and be faced with having to rinse these to stop ants etc from being attracted to them or to effectively throw them away and let someone else take the deposit.

The most effective method for the environment is to place the containers in your recycling bin but this way the council contractors receive the deposit and you lose out as you’re paying for the deposit and the running costs of an incredibly inefficient scheme.

In most circumstances I suspect this will be nothing but a NEW TAX on the people that do the right thing by recycling and never littering.

*Based on a rough estimate based on Coles having 807 in Australia, Woolworths having 995 and ALDI over 500

Recycling in Australia

Australia has an already low rate of recycling which has been impacted by the Chinese decision to stop accepting our recycling as there are limited facilities in Australia to process the recycling so it’s being sent to landfill instead. Large councils like the Ipswich City Council are sending all recycling to landfill as they claim it’s too expensive to recycle. This is further compounded with Australia having some of the highest power prices in the world and a total lack of investment in recycling facilities.

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