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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2021) . . Page.. 1811 ..

I have spent the past weeks listening to and talking to concerned locals; talking to the minister for city services, Chris Steel; and talking to Canberra Sand and Gravel and Ginninderry estate representatives. These conversations have been really fruitful. We all agree that while Canberra’s population grows, we need to ensure that we continue to provide essential services like recycling facilities that are practical, easily accessible and affordable. This all ties into the ACT Greens’ broader vision of reducing our carbon footprint and moving towards a healthy, waste-free future. Transitioning to a circular economy begins by recognising that our planet’s resources are finite and we need to address our unsustainable levels of consumption growth and waste generation.

The new green waste bins are a welcome addition, helping households reduce their garden waste. I eagerly await the scheme being expanded to include food waste by the end of 2023. As an environmentalist and an avid gardener, I know that we need these recycling services. But I am particularly glad we have kept our Canberra Sand and Gravel facility, and I look forward to the permanent Belconnen location for that facility.

I will always try and get the best outcome for my community, working constructively on solutions with the Legislative Assembly and putting people over politics. The ACT Greens share the community’s desire for a deeper, more participatory democracy. It is great to see a petition with so many signatures coming before us. We know that involves the government genuinely listening, respecting and trusting the community voice. This is what has happened with the CSG green waste facility. Our community has spoken; we have listened; and I look forward to seeing the next steps for recycling and reuse in Belconnen.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (10.05): I would like to comment briefly on the green waste e-petition that has garnered significant support from the Canberra community, particularly in my electorate of Ginninderra. This petition was signed by more than 2,000 people, asking the Labor-Greens government to keep the community green waste recycling facility open in west Belconnen. To be precise, 2,128 Canberra residents signed this petition in just under three weeks, and hundreds of others signed a paper petition.

The Labor-Greens government listened to the community and in this case has agreed to extend the lease. This is a wonderful outcome for the people of Belconnen; for local landscaping businesses, with whom I have spoken; and the whole of Canberra. I am proud that I was able to work with my Ginninderra colleague Mrs Kikkert and the Belconnen community to achieve this.

While this is good news, it is only a Band-Aid solution. Canberra Sand and Gravel needs certainty as to how long this extension will be and it needs a fast track to an alternative site. The community and local landscaping businesses also need certainty on this issue. The Labor-Greens government needs to give more consideration to the real needs of the Canberra community.

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