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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3152 ..

more polluting than burning coal, and of course we would almost certainly have the incineration quite close to ACT residential areas. I caution the government to be very careful about waste energy schemes. From what I can see, there are some which would be a very good idea and some which would be a very bad idea.

There are other areas, of course, that the Greens would like to see the government address, areas within our parliamentary agreement—commercial waste, which is half our waste and is still not being properly dealt with, and organic waste. The parliamentary agreement talked about a trial of organic waste, although I think we have now gone past that. We do not need to trial it. We need to do it. We can follow the leads of more innovative communities such as Goulburn who have a wonderful composting set-up where every household has a third bin that they put in all their garden waste and their household food waste. It is taken away, is composted and is then sold to local farmers. So we get food going back to the soil to produce more food. This is the sort of thing the Greens would like to see. And if we did as well as our surrounding shires, we would be able to do it.

Something else I would like to mention is the issue of toxic waste. The Greens have been campaigning quite strongly about compact fluorescent lights and small, disposable batteries. Both of these contain toxins, mercury in particular. Both of these at present go straight into our landfill. And while there is not a problem right now, in 20 or 30 years there almost certainly will be a problem. The Greens would like to see the government put in collection points so that people can easily take what can only be called hazardous waste somewhere to be disposed of.

The government’s response to date has been, “Yes, Ms Le Couteur, it is hazardous waste. That is why we are not collecting it.” But the problem is that we are selling it in the ACT. We actually have to have some system for dealing with it, apart from just saying, “It is all too hard.”

Of course, the other big waste issue is looking at the creation of waste in the first place. The quantity of waste in the ACT is going up every year. So even if our diversion rates also went up, the absolute quantity of waste is increasing, and this is something which, we as a community, and the government need to reverse.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.15—Department of Education and Training—$502,137,000 (net cost of outputs), $193,282,000 (capital injection) and $236,998,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $932,417,000.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (7.48): The ACT Greens are pleased with a number of the budget items for education and training. There are some big ticket allocations, such as the teacher quality institute, the productivity places program and the new schools operating costs, which will require close attention. We will be seeking updates on how these will be managed and progressed throughout the year.

The ACT teacher quality institute has a budget allocation of close to $4 million over four years. We welcome this investment, which is part of the bilateral agreement

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