Page 736 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 5 April 2022
MR STEEL: I am talking about the large-scale natural composting facility that we want to build, which is slightly different, anyway. We want to divert this organic waste from landfill, and we will be able to reduce our waste emissions by up to 30 per cent in doing so. This is an important part of reaching the ACT’s ambitious emissions reduction targets as we drive towards zero net emissions by 2045. So far we have been able to divert a significant amount of food and organic matter away from landfill in the trial area in Belconnen. At the end of February, 480 tonnes of organic materials had been diverted away from landfill, to be converted into compost. This figure will continue to grow as we plan towards a city-wide expansion.
DR PATERSON: Minister, what has been learned from the ongoing FOGO pilot, and how will this shape the delivery of a city-wide service?
MR STEEL: I thank Dr Paterson for her supplementary. The government is actively listening to and learning from community feedback and engagement through the current FOGO pilot. Throughout the trial we have seen a very high level of engagement and a really low level of contamination. Contamination rates in the first three months of the FOGO trial have been just 0.1 per cent—a fantastic result which shows that these communities are taking recycling seriously and are embracing the new service.
We have heard and are listening to feedback that some households are finding the transition to fortnightly bin collections in the pilot challenging. We recognise that when there are big families, young children in nappies or people with disabilities in the household, this can mean that there is a lot of waste. We have been actively promoting the ability for households to order a second or larger bin if they need one, at a small fee, and around 80 households have taken up that option thus far. That is not a huge share of the 5,000 households in the trial, but we recognise that this is an important option to have available.
Last week I met with Randwick City Council to discuss how they managed these issues in their transition to FOGO services just over a year ago. TCCS is also engaging with members of the community and stakeholder groups to understand how we can best support households with particular needs.
I can assure Canberrans that when we move to city-wide FOGO collection services, we will have options in place for people who need more bin space or more frequent collections. This pilot is a great opportunity to work with the community to figure out what these should be. I want to thank residents in the Belconnen pilot suburbs for the way that they have embraced this new service thus far, and we look forward to incorporating the learnings from this into a bigger, city-wide service in the years to come.
MS LAWDER: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, according to reports on the WorkSafe prohibition, the ACT Education Directorate will need to demonstrate that Calwell High School can comply with the class sizes policy, which