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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2021) . . Page.. 1816 ..

relation to garden waste facilities in west Belconnen. I would like to start by thanking the community who signed the petition that is before the Assembly today.

I am very pleased to update the Assembly. A temporary extension of the licence for Canberra Sand and Gravel has been approved by the ACT government. This means that residents on Canberra’s north side, particularly west Belconnen, will continue to be able to drop off garden waste at Parkwood in the coming months, as current service agreements are temporarily extended.

The priority here is to ensure continuity of garden waste services while a longer term solution is identified for large-scale composting and green waste management. Canberra Sand and Gravel’s licence was due to expire on 30 June this year, to allow remediation of the West Belconnen Resource Management Centre, supporting the ongoing delivery of new homes in the Ginninderry region and, indeed, recreational parkland for that community and the broader west Belconnen area as well.

The ACT government has listened to community feedback, including from those who took the time to sign this petition. We will extend CSG’s licence on a temporary basis while we continue the work that is already underway to identify alternatives for garden waste management on the north side. Of course, in the interim, for residents who want to dispose of green waste, all Canberra households are entitled to a green bin, with fortnightly collections of up to 240 litres. Residents can apply to get a green bin on the ACT government city services website.

Over the coming months, we will be bringing together stakeholders from across government, Ginninderry, and Canberra Sand and Gravel to look at a phased approach for the future remediation of the site, while ensuring that appropriate waste facilities remain available on the north side.

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (10.21): The Canberra Liberals first proposed green bins in 2012—a policy, I note, that was then opposed by Labor—and they are great for many gardening tasks, but they are not always enough. Trips to the Parkwood green waste facility have been a regular feature for many Belconnen residents and small business owners for a quarter of a century.

I have been seeking clarity from the government on a possible relocation of this facility since the middle of last year. The minister told me then that “a new location for green waste drop-off services provided by Canberra Sand and Gravel in Belconnen is yet to be identified”, but that “a longer term solution for the acceptance of green waste for Belconnen and north Canberra is being investigated”.

As the end of the lease on the current site approached, I again asked the minister for an update. I specifically asked if the government had been consulting with CSG about relocation. Minister Steel’s response was no. A good government would have done two things: first, consult with the experts who have been successfully running green waste operations in Belconnen for 25 years; and second, make sure that a new facility is in place before forcing the current one to close. But we are not dealing with a good government here. When further pressed, the minister stated, on 12 May:

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