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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 551 ..


Once again I bring a motion to this place that, deep down, I believe I should not need to, as it should be taken care of in due course, with common sense. Madam Speaker, as you and I and most members in this place are well aware, the policy of green bins has a long history. It has been announced at several elections by pretty much all sides of this place. There have been trials done in the past to ascertain whether or not a green waste collection service would be popular for the ACT, efficient for the ACT and actually serve to deliver on an unmet need. That trial was conducted in the 1990s and it found that in fact that need was being met, and being met quite effectively.

I am sure the minister will be keen to remind everyone that the Liberals—I will take it from the grin that that is a yes—did take this policy to a couple of elections. That is true, and it is because it is a hugely popular policy, for the same reasons that those opposite who argued against it so vehemently in the early stages of the last Assembly ended up going to the last election with it. Whether we need green bins in this town or not is now a moot point. There has been strong argument from both sides, on a number of occasions, about the merits of a green waste collection program. The polling shows that it is popular. Our constituents tell us it is popular. It is also being affirmed by the uptake in Tuggeranong.

The difference occurs in how we as the Canberra Liberals would have implemented such a policy, in contrast to the rollout of this program to date by the government. There has been, as I said earlier, a long-established industry that has collected green waste at a low cost, affordable rate to thousands of Canberrans. People have legitimately created a livelihood out of these businesses, have employed other Canberrans in these businesses and have been able to provide for their families.

The government’s planned rollout so far in Weston and in Tuggeranong has had complete and utter disregard for the existing industry and the existing industry players. These are not multimillion-dollar businesses. These are not individuals with thousands and thousands of dollars at their disposal. These are hardworking, what can only be described as battlers in most cases. These are people who have gone out to try to better themselves and better their family circumstances, and essentially bought themselves a job.

The collecting of green waste is not an easy job. Being a trash pack collector, hauling them in and out of a truck, emptying the waste, is not an easy job. It is heavy, physical, demanding labour. These people are not making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year; most of them are making a very modest living. They have loans that they took out to buy their businesses.

At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MR WALL: As I was saying, these individuals are hardworking businesspeople that have gone over and above to try to make a living for themselves and their families. I will disregard the speech I had intended to make, given the hour of the day, and make a heartfelt pledge, because that is what this requires. These business owners are


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