Page 3049 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 October 2022

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This is a broader approach to ensuring that we take the opportunity to maximise expertise to provide a holistic approach that will improve access, will deliver contemporary services and will ensure shared input into the development and delivery of future models of care as we continue to work to expand these services.

MS CASTLEY: Minister, how long have the 969 patients been waiting for an initial appointment to see a dermatologist?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I will take that question on notice.

MR COCKS: Can you guarantee the situation will not reach those unmanageable levels within two years, as you have been warned?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Thanks to Mr Cocks for the supplementary question. I think I have outlined in my first answer to Ms Castley the work that is ongoing to ensure that the dermatology unit can support the people of Canberra and the surrounding region appropriately, and that model of care work will continue to ensure that that is the case.

Environment—e-waste recycling

MS CLAY: My question is to the Minister for City Services. Last June, the Assembly passed my motion on recycling general electrical appliances, solar panels and large EVs and building batteries that power EVs, including doing more to advocate for recycling of these items through the national product stewardship scheme. The Standing Committee on Planning, Transport, and City Services also made similar recommendations as part of its annual reports inquiry. Minister, when will we see solar panel recycling in the ACT and what are the barriers there?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. The ACT government continues to advocate to the commonwealth to introduce product stewardship schemes and extended producer responsibility schemes for a range of different products, including solar photovoltaic systems, lithium-ion batteries and general electrical appliances.

The government has been consulting on what products should be included in the minister’s priority list for future product stewardship schemes, and we have been advocating for those schemes to go ahead, particularly for solar PVs as soon as possible. I recently wrote to the new federal Minister for the Environment, Tanya Plibersek, and I also met with her and raised this issue with her in person—about making sure that we get on with the delivery of the solar PV product stewardship scheme by the deadline of June 2023, which has been set. I have asked her for assurance about those time frames and whether they will be met and what steps are being considered by the Australian government if the deadline is not met.

It is really important that more of these schemes are extended to more products. We do not want to see the cost of disposal being placed on Canberrans at the point of disposal. It should be paid at the point of sale. That would see a far better outcome for recycling. It would mean that the processing would be put in place through the product stewardship scheme to make sure that we can extend the life of these valuable resources.

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