Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 August 2018) . . Page.. 3292 ..
that is within the full control of the commissioner, is a meaningless measure of the work that her office does. I know that I am not the only one confused by this indicator, and I trust that the commissioner will take on board the discussion from estimates despite the government not agreeing to the recommendation.
When I asked how many complaints the office had received in this past financial year, the answer was four.
Elsewhere in the hearings the question of the proposal for a recycling facility at Fyshwick was raised, and the subject of a current EIS arose. I asked the commissioner if she had any comments about that and whether she had provided a view to the EIS process. The answer came back: no, she did not think it appropriate for her to comment. Nor was any comment forthcoming on the container deposit scheme or on progress of plastic bag bans. Questions related to the last state of the environment report, which is now three years old, were taken on notice.
The point I make is that the major work of the office of commissioner for the environment is to produce every four years a solid reference document, the state of the environment report. Given that issues we asked about could not be answered because they were the subject of the next report, and other answers referred to issues that apparently occurred too long ago to be familiar, I wonder whether the commissioner’s time might be better used if she only appeared in the year—or the year and the year after—that the latest state of the environment report is tabled.
I was pleased to see discussion about waste in the ACT during the estimates hearings. It is important that we know what the government is planning in this area. It might not be the most glamorous part of government, but is nonetheless an important municipal service. I was pleased when a representative from TCCS indicated that the government will undertake public consultation specifically on the development of a waste to energy policy. As the ACT looks to deal with the challenges that waste management offers, it is crucial that Canberrans understand what is taking place and how it affects them. I look forward to learning about the outcome of the current EIS process for the Fyshwick site and, more importantly, how the ACT government will address future options for waste management, given the rapid population growth in the ACT and the limited scope for expansion of the Mugga Lane facility.
MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (12.25): I rise to speak in support of the measures contained in the 2018-19 budget which will improve public places in the ACT, particularly on the south side. The ACT government is committed to urban regeneration of our town centres and renewing our neighbourhoods. Having more people living in our existing town centres is an opportunity to create quality spaces that enhance Canberra as a great place to live. One of the reasons I ran for election was to help deliver urban renewal in Woden, and our government is investing in budget measures to improve public places in Woden town centre and across the ACT.
There is significant investment for more services in our suburbs in the 2018-19 budget, across both the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate and Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate. The government will engage with the community and business to improve the amenity and use of public places with a