Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3151 ..
The Auditor-General’s report also highlighted that we do not have mechanisms in place to get consistent measurements of water savings achieved from residential measures and that, indeed, savings were likely to be overestimated. Obviously this is going to be important as we move forward, reviewing the think water, act water strategy, to consider not just how we achieve better public engagement but also how we audit and account for the programs we put in place and the impact they are having. Once again, record keeping and reporting can often seem a little dull but, in measuring the effectiveness of public policy, it is essential that we do this.
In summary, on both climate change and water, we are in a place of consolidating data collection and analysis, improving the way we measure the effectiveness of programs. What we have learnt in the last 12 months or so, through Ms Le Couteur’s particularly persistent questioning, is that we simply do not have the measures so far of where we are at, who is doing what, what our current performance is and, therefore, what our future performance will be. If we do not have the baseline, we certainly will not be able to measure where we are going.
So I think it is going to be a big 12 months for DECCEW. They have got some additional resources in this budget but we have great expectations from them that they deliver some very significant policy tools that this government needs in order to move beyond simply talking the talk. We need to see some real delivery in the next 12 months on some key policy areas of our energy, water, waste—the policies that are going to ensure that the ACT becomes the sustainable city that many of our residents expect it to be and that I and my colleagues in the Greens truly believe it can be.
MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (7:42): I rise briefly to talk about the waste aspects of the DECCEW portfolio. I will only speak briefly because I spoke at some length about waste in discussing the TAMS portfolio. Of course, we have the situation, with waste, that TAMS is the actual program delivery agent but DECCEW is the policy maker. That is something which I think we are going to have to keep a very close eye on. Will the separation between the program delivery and the policy lead to a good outcome or lead to what seems to be happening at present, that is, only business as usual and we are not going anywhere?
I note that the year before last there was the Wright review. That was in 2008. That appears to have affected the government not at all. They have totally ignored, as far as I can tell, all the findings of that review. It certainly recommended an increased investment in waste processing. It said that, if we tried to move our diversion rate up to 90 per cent, it had economic modelling to demonstrate that that was the best deal economically for the ACT as well, of course, as a much better deal than what we have at present, where we only have a 75 per cent diversion rate.
However, I am aware that there is a new waste strategy coming out—I believe, in the next month. I can say that we are waiting with bated breath to see what is in it. We sincerely hope that it will be better than at present. But we do have some serious concerns about what is likely to be in it, and one of them is waste energy.
This could be done well but it also could be done not well. If it is not done well, incineration can be very problematic. Research shows that incineration can be even