Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 7 June 2022) . . Page.. 1742 ..
there is much support for such planning and action. Finally, we have the opportunity to better support our economy and provide more local jobs.
We might even all benefit from this on a personal level, by having even more sustainable choices when buying our clothing. We could have more ability to make a conscious decision to buy second-hand or upcycled clothing from a local Canberra designer or manufacturer. I commend my motion to the Assembly.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (3.26): I am pleased to support Ms Orr’s motion today. As she rightly points out, Australia does have a serious textile waste problem. In 2019 Australia produced over 250,000 tonnes of textile waste. In order to imagine how much this is, it equates to filling 190 Olympic-size swimming pools. It means that 6,000 kilos of textiles end up in Australian landfill every 10 minutes.
In 2021, under the Morrison government, textile waste was added to the minister’s product stewardship priority list in Australia, alongside a commitment of up to $1 million to support product stewardship efforts on clothing and textiles waste. The minister at the time, Minister Ley, also hosted Australia’s first commonwealth-led industry clothing and textiles waste round table and exhibition with industry leaders to find innovative solutions to combat the increasing amount of clothing waste being sent to landfill.
There have been some success stories in Australia. For example, in January 2021, the Bathurst Regional Council conducted a textile recycling trial that was described as an overwhelming success. In the first month of that trial more than 1,600 kilos of textiles were recycled—just in the first month of the trial.
Here in the ACT we have a proud recycling culture and an environmentally conscious community. I think that clothing and textile waste is no exception to that for our residents in the ACT. We already undertake some measures. Just last week, in my electorate, there was a clothing swap at the Uniting Church at Erindale, organised by local resident Liz Stephens, who may be familiar to many people here. Coming up this weekend, a women’s group, CBR Gals, is also hosting a clothes swap. If you are looking to refresh your wardrobe, I encourage you to attend.
There are “buy nothing” groups all over Canberra. They are very popular, to the point where it would be difficult to find a suburb that did not have one. They encourage the swapping, sharing and re-use of clothes and textiles. The Zonta Club of Canberra and elsewhere also regularly hold preloved fashion events to encourage the re-use of clothing. They also re-use fabric to make breast care cushions.
These are just a few very small examples that demonstrate that Canberrans are clearly conscious of their waste footprint, and they are eager to re-use and upcycle, wherever possible.
Last Saturday night I had the pleasure of attending the Conservation Council World Environment Day dinner. This is the 50th year of World Environment Day, although not the 50th year of the dinner held by the Conservation Council. They had a great guest speaker, Professor Veena Sahajwalla, affectionately known as the “waste