Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 438 ..
On that basis, what moral or other obligation does the government have when it took three years to consider, firstly, a pre-EIS scoping study, then an amended EIS, to ultimately determine it as not acceptable? The minister may care to comment on this.
The Fyshwick Business Association has been highlighting to government for some time the unsuitability of use of land in Fyshwick for such activities and this particular project, as have many community groups in the inner south. They have all been at pains to say that it is not the project that is objectionable; rather, it is the location. I know that they are keen to work with the government to develop a master plan for the future of Fyshwick, to progress future developments in the area. I would urge the government to do exactly that, so that such missteps and community anger are avoided in the future.
I would urge the government to do exactly that, so that genuine proponents are not led down an uncertain and rocky path, investing unnecessary time, money and resources in a venture that is pulled out from under them.
Let us not forget, and let us not allow this government to think that our support of this bill is because of anything good that they have done. Let us not forget, and let us not allow this government to think that the reason we are here, after years of angst from the community and the proponents involved, and now a potential risk of a significant compensation claim, was not all their own doing. The only thing that I can hope regarding this solution is that they have learnt their lesson and will take a more collaborative and mature approach, treating every stakeholder with some respect.
I am assured that the Government Solicitor’s office has reviewed the legislation and believes it is in order. As Mr Hanson mentioned, the Assembly has not had the opportunity to undertake legislative scrutiny, so we will have to take the government on trust that it is in order. I thank officials for providing a briefing on this legislation and answering many questions that were brought to me by my community.
MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong) (10.27): The Greens will be supporting this bill today. It is an unusual situation, and I understand that the bill being debated in the same week that it is presented is highly unusual in itself.
It is no secret that the ACT Greens are extremely enthusiastic about reducing, re-using, recycling and safely disposing of waste, by individuals, households, small businesses and large corporations—everything from banana peels to paint cans, dead mattresses and building rubble. We know that waste needs to be treated as a resource, and that it offers opportunities to establish new industries that divert waste from landfill; but we have listened to the concerns of community and businesses, and agree that Fyshwick is not the right place anymore to process waste on a large scale.
This bill will ban new waste facilities in Fyshwick and will put in place a commitment that the Greens, as well as Labor and the Liberals, made to the community during last year’s election campaign. All three parties raised concerns last year about the waste processing facilities being proposed for Fyshwick, and the impacts of those facilities on nearby residents and businesses.