Page 2694 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022

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MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (4.57): I want to make a few remarks in my capacity as the ACT Greens spokesperson for the circular economy, because I have been listening to the debate and I have not really heard the information told in a way that I think is easily digestible for people. I am going to talk about the environmental impact and the recycling aspects of this motion. I think others have covered other aspects of it really well.

The reason I really want to make a few remarks is that I used to run a paper recycling company. I hold a patent in the technology that we came up with. We set that company up, I ran it for a few years and I sold it when I got elected here. I have been through the process of thinking through the sustainability aspects of how we recycle, how we source the material, how it travels in freight—all of those chains.

I have also run a climate change project in which I carbon-counted a lot of these same sorts of steps. There is a lot of confusion these days and it is really hard for people to work out what is a real problem and what is not when they are talking about the environment. When you have been working in and around some of these fields it can get a bit simpler quite quickly with a bit of targeted information.

There is a really simple principle, and that is that you should always think about what you need. What do you need? Is this a useful thing that people need? I have heard this afternoon that this newsletter is really, really useful. I heard Mr Barr, the Chief Minister, say that 88 per cent of people over the age of 55 always read it. Nine in 10 people in that age bracket always read it. I cannot think of a single other government communication that has that kind of reach and uptake. I do not think that television, radio, socials or anything else reaches people at that level. If that many people are reading this, it is clearly something we need.

The next thing that you do when you are looking at environmental management is think: “If this is something that we need, how do we deliver this in the least damaging way possible?” I have had a little look at this newsletter, and it is doing pretty well. Things printed on paper that are of a size that can be recycled in our ordinary household and commercial materials recovery facility are pretty low impact things to make. It is made from a renewable resource; it can be easily recycled back into that renewable resource.

I encourage everyone who has not done it yet to hop on a bus, jump down and have a look at the MRF, the materials recovery facility, and see how paper is recycled. Having run a paper recycling company, I have actually tracked through to make sure that these sorts of paper materials in Australia are being recycled. They are. It is a pretty good process. This is coming from FSC certified paper. We know that, before, it was 100 per cent recycled, and soon again it will be 100 per cent recycled, but FSC certified means that it is coming from an industry certified renewable wood source. That is a really, really good material to be using. There are very few things we can do in our modern society that have as low an impact as that.

The next thing I look at is delivery and freight and some of those other things that people do not always think about. This is being delivered by Australia Post. That is a really efficient way to deliver things. That means we have got great big, full trucks that are delivering this. AusPost are in the process of moving to zero emissions freight

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