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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2033 ..


The elected body has been our partner in the work to develop the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2019-28 and, through the Coalition of Peaks, the national agreement on closing the gap. These two agreements will guide our whole-of-government approach to improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the next decade.

The elected body has driven real change through direct advocacy and partnership with government. The body has pushed the government to return Boomanulla Oval to community control, and this is now being prioritised through the healing and reconciliation fund. The elected body guided the development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older persons housing projects delivered by my colleague Deputy Chief Minister Berry, and the elected body pushed for the investments we are now making to deliver a purpose-built facility for Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation.

Those are just some specific examples of the elected body’s achievements in addition to its ongoing efforts to consult with the community, to work with government agencies and drive improvements in their services, and to hold government to account through its formal hearings.

I take this opportunity to thank the outgoing members of the elected body for their contributions over the last four years, especially those members who have chosen not to recontest these elections, which includes Caroline Hughes, Uncle Fred Monaghan and chairperson, Katrina Fanning. Katrina has been a strong leader of the elected body over the last four years and an invaluable partner in my work as minister and across government. The expertise and experience of Katrina and the other outgoing members will be missed, but this also presents a fantastic opportunity for new voices to emerge.

Environment—single-use plastics

MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, I refer to the phasing out of single-use plastics that comes into effect on 1 July. In an interview on local ABC radio last month—in fact, 26 May—Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson lamented that biodegradable knives and forks would still end up in landfill because the ACT does not have the infrastructure—a separate collection system and commercial composting operation—to recycle these products. Mr Whish-Wilson said, “If you put them in the rubbish bin they go to landfill and if you put them in the recycling bin they go to landfill. Unfortunately these products aren’t suitable for either bin.” Minister, what is the point of phasing out single-use plastics when replacement products will still end up in landfill?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. I refer him to the legislation, where it is very clear that we are banning those so-called compostable plastics. They won’t be able to be supplied in the ACT from 1 July—in relation to single-use cutlery, expanded polystyrene and stirrers—with further tranches to come.

We recognise that they cannot be at the moment commercially composted. There are two different standards for compostable products: a household standard and a


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