Page 3050 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 October 2022

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I was just reading in the Financial Review today that around 50 per cent of the cost of a solar photovoltaic cell is made up of the cost of silver, which is—(Time expired.)

MS CLAY: Minister, when will we see electrical appliance recycling, and what are the barriers there?

MR STEEL: That is something that we have been advocating to the commonwealth to establish. The Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020 is a commonwealth piece of legislation which enables the establishment of these schemes. We would like to see those schemes extended to more products, including those larger electrical appliances, so that people do pay for the cost of disposal at the point of sale and not at the end. There is an IT product stewardship scheme in place, but that does not extend to many of the electrical appliances that I think you are referring to, Ms Clay. We would like to see far more of those captured under these extended producer responsibility arrangements.

Very soon the government will be going out for consultation on a draft circular economy strategy, where we will be asking the community about what they would like to see in terms of how the ACT could support product stewardship schemes going forward, those national schemes being put in place and what we can be doing here at a local level to support those, and we have had of those discussions in this place.

We do have national markets, and there are some constitutional issues with the ACT government introducing our own schemes and putting in place excise taxes, for example, on goods, on consumer goods, that are sold into a national market as part of national commerce. But there may be some things that we can do here to support the schemes that are getting underway, whether its drop-off or whether it is making sure that those items do not find their way into landfill. So we will be going out and having that conversation with the community very soon.

MR BRADDOCK: Minister, when will we see EV and large battery recycling potentially included in those schemes?

MR STEEL: There is a battery product stewardship scheme already in place. We would like to see that extended to those largescale batteries—those that are found in households—and also electrical vehicle batteries and, of course, those largescale batteries that we are of course looking into introducing here in the ACT, with the Canberra Big Battery.

That is something that I think is being considered actively at the moment with the commonwealth around how that scheme could be extended. That is obviously a decision that would have to be made nationally, and we will continue to advocate to make sure that those arrangements are put in place as soon as possible.

As I was almost touching on before, there are very valuable materials in these batteries that can be recycled. Those resources can be reused into the future. Whether it is the silver in solar PV cells or the lithium and other rare metals that are found in batteries, these can be reused and be used in remanufacturing of new products.

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