Page 257 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022

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I will leave it to those opposite to continue their narrative of talking down the ACT economy with claims that really fail to stand up to any form of analysis. We remain optimistic, cautiously optimistic, about the direction of economic activity over this calendar year. The economic updates that I will deliver this year will continue the government’s plan for a more prosperous and progressive Canberra.

It is clear that there are risks still on the horizon, more so in a pandemic environment of course, but the signs are increasingly positive for 2022. So we retain that cautious optimism. It is pleasing to see the results in this December quarter update, and I commend it to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Waste—recycling—government response

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.01): Pursuant to standing order 211, I move:

That the Assembly take note of the following paper:

E-waste recycling—Government response, pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly of 23 June 2021.

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (3.01): I would like to speak to the government response on this Assembly resolution about e-waste recycling. I was really, really happy when the Assembly passed my motion in June last year. The motion is about recycling solar panels, electrical appliances and the large batteries that power our EVs, buildings and our grids.

This is a tricky area for the ACT. The best approach on recycling would be national. We would get less consumption, less waste generated and more efficient recycling if the schemes, behaviour change programs and basic settings underpinning our economy were coordinated and led by federal government.

National product stewardship can give us cheap and efficient recycling schemes. The national right to repair movement can reduce our need to buy new goods in the first place. National regulation at the design stage could ensure that fewer junk items are made and the things that we need are built to last and built to recycle in easy-to-access facilities. This is all part of a truly circular economy. I have been thinking about how we build that circular economy at the moment because we talk about it a lot but we are really at the very early stage of truly creating one.

It is really hard to do this as an island, in the ACT. The problem is that we have been waiting for national leadership on these issues for too long. We need a federal government that shows real leadership and commitment to fighting climate change and protecting our environment, and we just do not have one. We have been waiting and waiting, and it is time to act locally.

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