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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1967 ..

nationally. Why then was this not the case with recycling of solar panels and batteries? Why couldn’t we have led the nation in this and now be two years ahead of where we are? But no; in fact, this was also supported by the leader of the Greens then, Mr Rattenbury.

It is disappointing that that motion of two years ago, about improving recycling processes for solar panels and batteries in the ACT, is coming back again. Perhaps it will now be taken more seriously because it has been put forward by a Greens backbencher.

It is good in many ways, because this is an important issue that we should take seriously, and we should address it. We are very supportive of the recycling of this particular waste stream. That is why we brought the matter here two years ago. On the other side, whilst it is great to have it come back, it is incredibly frustrating to be preached to about this when we could have done something two years ago.

I will give a similar example from a newspaper today. Mr Rattenbury said how frustrated he was. He welcomed Dr Paterson’s bill about consent, but he was frustrated that Ms Le Couteur’s bill on a similar matter did not receive support from the Labor and Liberal parties at the time. He said:

The ACT Greens were frustrated that the other parties did not support the model of affirmative consent that was put forward at the time.

He said that the Greens took it to the ACT election. I can understand Mr Rattenbury’s frustration on that particular matter because it is exactly the same frustration that I am feeling today, because we did not take firmer, stronger, decisive action two years ago on the recycling of solar panels and batteries.

I agree with Ms Clay’s paragraph (1)(b), that recycling arrangements have not kept pace with the rapid uptake of new technology. That is one of the reasons why we tried to talk about it two years ago. At the time of my motion in June 2019, when this Assembly amended my original motion, to put the onus squarely at the feet of the federal government, I said that this was obviously a ringing endorsement of the federal government’s approach. I will quote what I said at the time:

Today I am happy enough to support the minister’s amendments.

that was Mr Steel’s amendments—

I thank him for circulating those. This is an area where, time and again, those opposite want to lead Australia, indeed the world, by bringing in new things and being the first. In this particular regard, I am pleased to support Mr Steel’s amendment of the motion because it appears to be a ringing endorsement of the approach taken by the Morrison government. The minister, instead of wanting to be world leading or even Australia leading, as those opposite try to do in many respects, wants to assign all responsibility to the federal government. I am very pleased that he has seen that this is an endorsement of the work of my federal colleagues.

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