Page 3035 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 October 2022
We are excited about the ongoing progress with the FOGO. We are looking forward to having an open procurement and to seeing how our existing businesses will fit into that landscape. There are a lot of opportunities regarding household, commercial and business recycling, and it will be great to see that all woven together. I am also pleased by how well that trial is going. I am excited to talk about some of the issues that have already come up, like nappies, large families and apartments. These are long-ongoing problems. I think there are a lot of solutions. We have some inquiries and a bit of research going on, and I am confident that we will be able to solve the issues. We need to make sure that we get the detail right on that.
I put out a little circular economy paper earlier in the year. I am very much looking forward to seeing the minister’s circular economy strategy. I think that will be great. We have a lot of challenges and opportunities at the moment. It was great to hear in estimates recently that waste audits will recommence soon. I hope we will get those published. That will help everybody to see what is going on, and it helps businesses to identify new opportunities in the market so that it is not just a matter of government having to do this. We know we have a lot of issues with product stewardship, and that is a great way to tackle our problems, but there is slow progress. We have a lot of general problems with a high-consuming society. I am looking forward to seeing all of these different strands woven together in a comprehensive circular economy vision.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (11.34): I rise to speak to the Appropriation Bill 2022-2023 as it relates to my shadow responsibilities in city services. We have had many discussions in this place about city services, and it will be no surprise that my view is that this Labor-Greens government have long taken a lazy, reactive approach to municipal services. Doing the bare minimum suits the government and, quite frankly, they are very good at doing that. Why invest properly in our basic municipal services when they can strip them down, starve them of money and then throw money at them when people start to notice and make a bit of noise—when people start to see that the grass is waist high, and when people start to see damage to their cars from potholes?
Before I go on, I would like to express my appreciation to the staff who work in this area every day, whether it is at DAS, in our libraries, on our maintenance and road crews, on our mowing crews et cetera. They are doing their very best. They are out there every day, often under difficult circumstances. But the government is starving them of the resources they need. Every year we are adding more suburbs, more streets, roads, footpaths, waterways and stormwater systems—everything in our city. But we are not commensurately increasing the budget for our City Services staff. All the time, year after year, they have to do more with less until, as I said, there is a blitz announced or there is a sudden injection of funds when people start to make a bit of noise.
People are always telling me, and many of my colleagues, that they feel the state of their neighbourhood is worsening. They talk about the lack of pride in their suburb because of the amount of overgrown grass or issues with footpaths. It is shameful how little the government seems to care about these basic municipal services. You do not have to take my word for it; you just have to look at the estimates report recommendations, which show quite clearly that I am not the only one who thinks that things can be done better. Recommendation 112 states: