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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 October 2018) . . Page.. 4572 ..


those days. But seriously, there was no plastic. We were not the sort of people who would allow that.

I would like to now talk about the living green festivals in Canberra, which Mr Rattenbury referred to. They started in 2010. They have been held every year since then in the Albert Hall. They have always had a very strong environmental focus. They do not allow single-use plastics. In most years, they have had people from Orana school, and possibly in one year people from Actsmart, helping patrons to put their rubbish in the right bin. The food has generally been served in compostable containers with compostable eating utensils. They go straight into a bin of organics to be composted.

That brings me to the missing link—well, there are many missing links, but this is a particular missing link—in terms of plastic-free festivals in Canberra. Of course, I want to see this. If we go to the step of using compostable utensils and eating containers, we have to have a way that these are actually composted. In our current waste system in the ACT, unfortunately, except for festivals like the Living Green Festival and the folk festival, which has been doing it for a very long time, there is not such a system. These compostable materials are sent to landfill with everything else. They produce methane, which, as we all know, is a virulent greenhouse gas. Some of that methane is used to create electricity, but I would like to say that we need the ACT government to take on board the push the Greens have had for years.

In the Seventh Assembly I was talking about the need to collect and compost the organic waste in this town; not just the green waste from our gardens, which is a good step forward, but the organic waste that all of us produce every day, every week in our houses. And the waste that every festival produces.

Madam Assistant Speaker Orr, I commend you for your motion. I hope that you get a chance to get out of the chair and speak to close debate on it. I hope to see the ACT government catch up to community organisations in Canberra, have a plastic-free festival and make it easier for all organisations by providing a service to collect organic waste.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for City Services, Minister for Community Services and Facilities, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Roads) (3.58): I thank Ms Orr for bringing this motion before us. I start by noting that I have used my keep cup today, as we all should in this place. Our government is committed to a healthier environment, and part of that means working towards a more sustainable Canberra.

We know the ACT is a leader when it comes to sustainable environment policies. As a jurisdiction, we have implemented a ban on single-use plastic bags, we have introduced a container deposit scheme, green bins are being rolled out throughout the city, we are working towards a 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2020, and there is more our government is looking to do to make our city even more sustainable.

Our target of 90 per cent waste diversion from landfill means that we have to continue to innovate and look at new ways to create a better environment. Part of this means


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