Page 2690 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022
In the most recent survey of Our Canberra readers, Canberrans aged 55 plus were most likely to “always read” the Our Canberra newsletter, compared to other age groups. Eighty-eight per cent of people 55 years plus always read the newsletter, compared with 70 per cent of people in my age category, between 35 and 54, and 54 per cent of people under 35. So printed materials remain a highly preferred form of communication, particularly for older Canberrans, which is of course why those opposite also print and distribute thousands of copies of printed political material themselves.
I note, through the original motion, the insinuation by Mr Parton that in some sense the printing of a newsletter is at odds with the single-use plastics reduction agenda. He seemed less concerned about the environmental impacts of mass paper printing when he proudly filmed himself and his newly purchased laser printer, keeping his office warm with his own political materials in his daily selfie videos on Facebook.
For a number of years Our Canberra was printed on 100 per cent recycled paper, sourced from European paper mills. As with many sectors, the war in Ukraine has impacted on supply lines, so since June of this year the newsletter has been printed on paper stocks sourced from sustainably managed forests. This is not a permanent solution. As outlined in the amendment circulated in my name, the government will continue to explore a return to 100 per cent recycled paper when it becomes available again.
Mr Parton: Because you care about the environment, don’t you?
MR BARR: Mr Assistant Speaker, I will compare my record on environmental matters with that man opposite any day of the week. Any day of the week. What we will continue to do is to keep the community informed through the Our Canberra newsletter, which, I would remind members, is independently reviewed under the laws of the territory by an independent reviewer, each edition—
Mr Hanson: But 11 of them? Why do we need it? Yes, of course they are all reviewed, but why do we need 11?
MR BARR: Every edition, under the government advertising arrangements that require independent review. That process is adhered to. There was a report that was tabled in this place yesterday in relation to the independent assessment of the content of the newsletter. It is valued by Canberrans. That is very clear. It is important that the government communicate through a variety of different channels. There may come a time in the future, probably after I am dead, that everyone younger than me will no longer want printed material, but it is still clearly the case that the more than 100,000 Canberrans who are older than me do want printed material.
Mr Parton: That’s not what you said about the Chronicle.
MR BARR: I do not remember the Chronicle, Mr Assistant Speaker. The point is that there may come a time when the preferred method of engagement with government is all online, but that time is not now. There is still very high demand for printed communication, and the government will continue under the arrangements that we