Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 9 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 3266..
MS LE COUTEUR (continuing):
There was a great response on Saturday to the e-waste initiative. I had already heard about the national scheme that COAG is looking at for producer responsibility, and I totally agree that that is probably the long-term solution. However, we know how long COAG takes to do things; it will be a long-term solution. In the short run, given the success of last weekend, I call on the ACT Labor Party to implement its election policy, which says:
A re-elected ACT Labor Government will introduce a new $1.9 million initiative for ACT households and businesses to make it easier for them to recycle electronic waste through free drop-off facilities for electronic items such as computers, IT equipment and televisions. This free scheme will replace the current pay-to-drop-off scheme.
That was at least some good thinking.
Last, I would like to very briefly touch on another matter. There was a recent tender on the procurement website which appeared to be talking about the possible combustion or incineration of ACT waste. I would like to know how that fits into our waste strategy and our greenhouse gas strategy. It may be that that is what Mr Corbell was referring to when he talked about a waste for energy plant, and it may possibly have some positive outcomes, but at this stage, just on the face of it, it is hard to see how it fits in with the greenhouse gas strategy or a sense—(Time expired.)
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (5.08): I will not speak for too long on this but I do welcome the opportunity to make a small contribution to a discussion around waste management in the ACT, if for no other reason than to provide context and perspective for the discussion and some of the commentary that has been made. The context in relation to that is that, of any major jurisdiction in Australia, the ACT has the best recycling and re-use record of any major metropolitan area or jurisdiction in Australia.
In the context of any debate on any major issue of policy, it would, I think, be relevant for those who stand to address issues that face the community to start with an acknowledgement that we as a jurisdiction, as a metropolitan centre, have the best record of any city in Australia—by far. With over 74 per cent of all waste being diverted from landfill, the ACT leads Australia and leads almost the entire developed world in its commitment to recycling and re-use and the diversion of waste from landfill.
Any debate or any conversation in relation to this issue really needs to start from that particular point or perspective. It seems to me to be a pity, or regrettable, that those who stand and berate government and point to perceived shortcomings, lack of effort or lack of commitment do not acknowledge that. Certainly we can do better, but just under 75 per cent of all waste generated in the ACT is diverted from landfill. That is the best in Australia, almost the best in the world.
If you do not acknowledge that—if you do not acknowledge how far we have travelled and point the finger at the government's lack of commitment to zero waste