Page 735 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 5 April 2022

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MR STEEL: I thank Ms Orr for her question, and for her interest in the environment and the circular economy. I was very pleased recently to announce that the ACT government will establish a dedicated large-scale FOGO processing facility here in the territory. Feasibility has identified available and suitable land at the Hume resource recovery estate for this new facility. At this site we will be able to convert food and organic materials collected from Canberra households and turn it into nutrient-rich compost that can be used in the agricultural sector, in viticulture and in our city’s parks and gardens. This is an essential step towards rolling out a city-wide FOGO service.

In order to be able to undertake food and organic waste collections here in Canberra at scale, we need to ensure that we have the capabilities, technologies and the facilities to process these goods into valuable alternative materials. The government will now work towards detailed design of this facility, with a tender expected in the new year. The facility is part of our huge capital works pipeline, and shows that the government is building sustainability into our plan to create jobs and build the infrastructure that we need for our growing city.

MS ORR: Minister, what impact will this new facility have on reducing waste to landfill?

MR STEEL: I welcome the member’s interest in sustainably managing Canberra’s waste. We know that as much as 37 per cent of our waste presently going into landfill is organic material from our garbage bins. By going to landfill, this waste is contributing to harmful emissions and is having a negative impact on our environment.

Ms Lawder: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Resume your seat, please, Mr Steel.

Ms Lawder: Whilst I am actually very interested in the minister’s response, can I draw your attention to standing order 59, about anticipating discussion? This is an item that is on the notice paper for later today.

MR STEEL: Madam Speaker, on the point of order, I understand that questions in question time are explicitly exempted from that provision of the standing orders.

Mr Gentleman: On the point of order, Madam Speaker, I would be very interested, if this point of order was upheld, to see what questions are put from the Liberal Party, if they are not able to be answered by ministers during question time.

MADAM SPEAKER: The question is in order. Having regard to all of the various points of order, just because something is on the notice paper, it does not mean to say you cannot discuss it in any way, shape or form. If I look at your motion, Ms Lawder, it is around the collection of weekly pick-ups and other bits and pieces. The minister is in order.

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