Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 April 2022) . . Page.. 763 ..
Minister, this is a ludicrous suggestion. Are you then going to suggest to families, the disabled and those with medical needs that they freeze their nappies? Is that the next answer you are going to put on your website? Ridiculous!
I speak in favour of Ms Lawder’s motion, totally rejecting Mr Steel’s amendment. I strongly disagree with the support coming from the Greens and other Labor members. If this is rolled out in its current form across Canberra, I have some fears. I have fear that the green bins will be contaminated. I have fear that the recycling bins that people have in their homes will be contaminated, just to use the extra space and maybe to cloud the aroma, surround it with other things—old nappies and diapers. I also have a fear that there may well be a rise in illegal dumping.
Is the government anticipating the problems? Is it looking at the risks associated with removing the weekly household pick-up? Again, at least it could provide households with the option to retain the weekly collection. Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I wholeheartedly support Ms Lawder’s motion and reject the Labor-Greens amendment.
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (3.45): We are now over four months into the FOGO pilot and it is worth revisiting some of the history here, which goes back almost two years, of this commitment. This was an ACT Labor election commitment about creating sustainable jobs while taking real action on climate change.
More than a third of ACT residential garbage bin contents are food waste, which currently goes to landfill and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. We simply cannot keep doing what we have always done. This initiative is about reducing our emissions by 30 per cent and, more than that, about turning food waste into valuable compost which can be returned to the soil. As Ms Clay has flagged, this is a genuine action that results in real change.
I have heard a lot of things in this place but never did I expect that I would hear Mrs Kikkert proclaim that reducing bin collections is about stealthily trying to control population growth. What I would ask her to reflect on is the carrying capacity of our planet, including the impact of the generation of waste, and that we do have to take action to ensure that there is a planet here for our children.
The FOGO proposal was incredibly popular, even in suburbs where there was a high rate of composting, noting that the green bins are able to take meat and bones, which is not something that is often able to be composted in backyards. There were many positive conversations and genuine community excitement that was generated during the election. I know this firsthand because I doorknocked many suburbs, including and especially the suburbs which are now participating in the trial, talking explicitly about this initiative.
During the election we were able to confirm that Belconnen town centre would be a focus for the pilot, to understand how the collection service could be successfully