Page 761 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 5 April 2022
The government will also claim that they have received positive feedback that has informed their decision to change to fortnightly rubbish collections. Using ABS data, it is interesting to note that the suburbs the government specifically targeted for this trial have a lower average rate of people per household and a lower average rate of children between zero and four compared to the rest of the Ginninderra electorate. These smaller and demographically older households would naturally produce less household waste, making them less reliant on weekly rubbish collections and therefore more likely to be receptive to reduced rubbish collection, giving the government the pretext that they need to cut services.
If the government had chosen suburbs with a higher proportion of young children and more people per household, such as Dunlop or Macgregor, they would have heard a much different story. In other words, the government neglected to trial FOGO in areas that would be the most harmed by a reduction in rubbish collections. This is not good governance. The intentions of FOGO are good, but the move to reduce rubbish collections will be harmful to many families and is based on questionable evidence. On behalf of these families, I commend this motion to the Assembly. Thank you.
MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (3.37): I want to thank Ms Lawder for presenting and Mrs Kikkert for supporting this very commendable motion. I am grateful to see Ms Lawder’s commitment, as a shadow minister, to bringing the concerns of the public to this place, particularly in environmental and waste management.
As members are aware, I am a local member for the suburbs where this FOGO scheme is currently being piloted. Unsurprisingly, I have received numerous complaints and concerns about the implementation of this rollout, almost all focused on the fact that household rubbish is being picked up fortnightly. That is the concern.
We do support sensible waste management and use of materials that are produced by households, but to reduce the frequency is something that is of concern not just to families, with the materials that they produce in their homes if they have young children, but to the disabled, to the elderly, to those recovering from surgery or to those who are under some sort of constant medical treatment where they require the use of disposable medical materials.
Surely this very, very vulnerable part of our community should be a focus of this government as it reviews this pilot scheme. As Ms Lawder has said, the reason you have a pilot scheme is to see if it is working. Does it need amending? Does it need changing? The fact is that it is so obvious to my constituents that it needs changing by keeping the weekly collection of household rubbish or, at the very least, giving families and households the option of retaining the weekly collection—at the very least.
I would just like to present a few examples, without revealing details of names or locations. A constituent said he had a large family under one roof and, even though they were trying to fit in with the intentions of this scheme, they could not fit everything in their weekly collected household bin. I wrote to the minister, asking for an extra bin to be provided, to which he replied that he recommended the constituent