Page 767 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 5 April 2022

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This is a family with PPE that goes in the bin, specialist feeding equipment that has to go in the bin, and large-sized nappies—not baby-sized nappies—several a day, that go in the bin. They have already had neighbours complaining about the smell. It will make other elderly people and other people with disability pretty upset that that sort of cavalier and condescending comment was put forward when someone complained about it. I will give another quote:

We are a 10-person household so even with a weekly pickup we are overrun with garbage, let alone once we get moved to fortnightly. Illegal dumping will increase as people cannot afford to pay tip fees to get rid of the excess each week, not to mention the increases in health issues and rodents. We also recycle a huge amount of stuff. We have paid for a second recycling bin to keep up. I also cannot imagine how hard it would be with all the nappies. It is easy for people to suggest cloth nappies but they are not practical in our case.

In other words, in the case of an older child wearing nappies. Mr Assistant Speaker, I do not want to further single out, disadvantage or reduce the dignity of these families by making them have to go through extra paperwork, extra forms to fill out, extra phone calls to make, extra costs and extra demands on their time, just to deal with their rubbish. Remember that it is a basic municipal service. The government must collect the rubbish. We are paying for this with our rates. Why would you countenance, even for a moment, charging people extra to get rid of their rubbish? Why would you do that to a family with a child with special needs—a child with disability, possibly more than one person with disability, in the household? I do believe it is really outrageous.

When I spoke earlier I said that a one-size-fits-all approach does not suit us, but we do not want to single people out, either, so that it is obvious they are different. That is not what inclusion is about. We want to make people feel as much a part of a community as possible. Remember that, even if you have special requirements for nappies or medical waste in your own household, that does not mean you do not have a commitment to recycling, to reducing waste and to reducing emissions. I am sure these families are also doing whatever they can, but not all of us have the privilege to be able to spend time, money and effort on some of these things.

My husband and I are a two-person household. We are lucky to fill a small bag a week. We could deal with a fortnightly collection, except I am concerned about the smell. We have a dog who eats a few scraps; we have chickens that do a great job of mulching up the food scraps. It then goes into the compost heap and eventually into the vegetable garden. I have silicon bags which are reusable, instead of Glad wrap, and we have beeswax wraps. There is a whole range of ways that we can try to reduce our waste. But not everyone can do that, or not everyone can do it immediately.

We want to help people along the path, not punish them, not be punitive, not single them out. A one-size-fits-all approach does not suit everyone, especially vulnerable people and larger families. The last thing we should be doing is putting more cost, more forms, more effort and more energy onto those families, so that they have to ask for or pay for another bin. I think it is terrible. I think it shows condescension. It shows that they are out of touch with average families. The government must collect

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