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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (15 November) . . Page.. 3528..


MR HARGREAVES: Talking about waste separation, we had a good exercise in waste separation just the other day, didn't we, when Mr Stefaniak moved? He moved with lightning speed to do some waste minimisation within his own ranks and I congratulate the Leader of the Opposition on his waste minimisation approaches.

As I said, improved services at the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre include construction and demolition waste processing, mixed waste separation, metals recycling and reusable services, which will result in more materials being diverted from landfill, furthering our current no waste success.

We are nearing the finalisation of a new state-of-the-art landfill cell at Mugga that is lined with a synthetic plastic liner ensuring the protection of ground water. I am told that this new cell will be operated using a leachate reingestion system, which simply means that the liquid that is produced in the landfill will be recirculated to break down and stabilise the waste faster and produce more green electricity in the coming years. We also continue to process over 190,000 tonnes of organic garden waste at our two processing sites, with most of this material being returned to the soil and again contributing to our sustainability objectives.

Under the government's current restructuring we have also created a new branch within my department of sustainability policy and programs. This will see the integration of energy, water, waste and climate change areas coming together to form a stronger, more coordinated and synergistic approach to address the more important issues of sustainability. This change will create partnerships in our ability to deliver programs to stakeholders within the community. For example, we will now be targeting schools under an integrated sustainability program addressing energy, water, waste and climate issues under the one program.

I think the Stanhope Labor government is not only leading the way in our community; it is leading the way in the country. I would like again to express my appreciation to the officers within the various departments who have contributed so much to that leadership.

Ambulance service-crews

MR SMYTH: My question is to the minister for emergency services, Mr Corbell. You were recently quoted as saying that the ACT ambulance service has seven ambulance crews fully operational around the clock. If this is the case, why, on Saturday, 4 November 2006, was it necessary for ambulance service management to hold back day-shift crews for the night shift and, even so, they still failed to have more than five fully manned ambulance crews available after midnight?

MR CORBELL: I am not familiar with the full details of that weekend, so I will need to seek some further advice. I will do that. If I am able to provide some information to Mr Smyth, it would be this: my understanding is that there are circumstances where the ambulance service, due to cancellations in rostered shifts, has a shortfall in staff. Regrettably, that occurs.


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