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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 962 ..

MR PARTON: Minister, what specifically are you doing about this problem, regarding antisocial behaviour in public housing complexes?

MS VASSAROTTI: I thank the member for the question. The issue of antisocial behaviour is a clear issue that sits under the Residential Tenancies Act. It is an issue that is taken very seriously. I engage regularly with Housing ACT around issues that are brought to our attention. They are issues that we know about. We do not talk about individual cases because of privacy issues. I can absolutely assure members in this Assembly that responsibilities around antisocial behaviour are taken very seriously and are actively discussed with me and the directorate.

Environment—single-use plastics

DR PATERSON: Minister, can you please update the Assembly on the government’s plan to phase out single-use plastics?

MR STEEL: I thank Dr Paterson for her question. The phase-out of single-use plastics is an important part of the ACT government’s approach to responsibly managing our environment. As a result of the passage of the Plastic Reduction Bill, which is now an act, the phase-out will start from 1 July, to ban the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastic cutlery, stirrers and expanded polystyrene food and beverage containers.

Over the past several years, we have been consulting with the community, including business. We have formed a plastic reduction taskforce, which has members from the Australian Food and Grocery Council; Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation; Conservation Council ACT Region; Australian Hotels Association; Australian Retailers Association; Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association; National Retail Association; Restaurant and Catering Industry Association; Canberra Business Chamber; Public Health Association of Australia; and disability advocates, including members of the Disability Reference Group and Advocacy for Inclusion. I also want to note that we also had the late Sue Salthouse advising us as we moved on the transition to more sustainable alternatives.

As we progress to the phase-out on 1 July, we hope that businesses will well and truly start to make a transition by working through any existing stocks of plastics that they may have and finding sustainable alternatives. Yesterday I announced that education activities are well underway and being ramped up. We will be engaging face to face with over 700 businesses, particularly in the hospitality and retail sectors, in the lead-up to the ban in July.

An important message is that bioplastics are banned under the legislation because they cannot be recycled easily in the ACT. We do not have a large-scale composting facility and there have been concerns about contamination interstate. (Time expired.)

DR PATERSON: Minister, how is the government engaging with businesses to ensure they are aware of the upcoming changes?

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