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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 553 ..


and it is estimated to be in excess of $10 million. That is $10 million of Canberrans’ assets, and this government is happy to walk into the space and say, “We’re going to destroy it, tear it up, devalue it, make it worth zero, as we come in and dominate this industry.”

That is heartless. It does not stand the fairness test. The government, and members of the executive particularly, always come in here and talk about this government being about equity, about fairness and about a fair go. Where is the fair go for the operator that spent the last 40 years in the industry? His retirement plan, his superannuation fund, was to sell his business that he has spent most of his life working in, only to find now that it is worth zero. What kind of a retirement is that family going to have? Where is the fair go for those operators? We are seeing here, as I said before, in excess of $10 million worth of investment by Canberrans completely and utterly devalued.

What I am hoping to see from the minister today is what the way forward looks like. To what extent is the government going to assist in making sure that the livelihoods of these Canberrans is maintained to a point where they can actually have some confidence that they are still able to provide for their families going forward and that this government decision will not result in complete and utter financial ruin for them?

It is absolutely appalling that, to this point, there has been no consultation from the government on how to manage the transition for these operators—none. My office, and, I am sure, Minister Fitzharris’s office and other members’ offices, have received a number of heartfelt pledges from customers of these businesses. The customers are highlighting that, yes, a green waste collection is great. They are happy that they are getting it for free, whereas they previously had to pay for it, but they are also conscious of the impact that it is having on the individual, the business and the family that they have long engaged with to deliver this service for them. One of the emails says:

It is very disappointing that the green bins scheme appears to have been developed and implemented without consulting stakeholders and assessing its impact on people who are already providing a similar or better service. I can understand that most ACT households would welcome a green bin service for only a one off $50 registration as it is substantially less than any alternatives. Clearly, this price could not possibly reflect the cost of delivering the service and the collateral damage to existing local Trash Pak businesses is indicative of policy implementation not properly thought through.

That is just one of many examples where Canberrans have said, “Yes, we’re happy to see the government moving on this. We’re happy to see the green bin being delivered, but we’d also like to think that we’re not destroying livelihoods and we’re not destroying families in the process.”

I look forward to hearing, when Minister Fitzharris rises, how she will address and fairly compensate them for the over $10 million of investment that will be destroyed by this government policy moving forward. I note that she has an amendment. I have just had it put on my desk whilst I am on my feet. I have not had a chance to read it


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