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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 December 2021) . . Page.. 3950 ..

MR STEEL: I thank Dr Paterson for her question. This is a big project and 2021 has been an incredibly busy year, despite the challenges of COVID-19 and one of the wettest years that we have seen in a very long time. We have seen environmental approvals, funding commitments from the commonwealth and, importantly, the start of early works ready for construction. The team will be hard at work to progress important utility relocations right through to Christmas. We will also see the release of requests for tenders for the raising of the London Circuit project, which is a major procurement milestone.

Next year will be an even bigger year for the project. I am looking forward to working with the NCA to progress the works approval for raising London Circuit early in the new year. Following that approvals process we will be awarding the contractor to deliver the project’s main works and we expect that main works construction will start in the first half of the year, pending those approvals being given.

We are also progressing negotiations for depot modification works, the acquisition of additional light rail vehicles and the retrofitting of our existing fleet to allow wire-free running through the parliamentary triangle. We hope to enter into this stage of the project early next year. Of course, throughout all of this we will continue to progress consultation with the community on the design of light rail stage 2A. It is a big year for our city’s biggest ever infrastructure project, and Canberrans should be really excited about what is coming up.

Tuggeranong—green waste collection services

MR DAVIS: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services, and relates to FOGO. Minister, I was delighted to hear that the food organics and garden organics collection pilot, affectionately known as FOGO, is now underway in select Belconnen suburbs. As you would expect, I have been contacted by a number of my Tuggeranong constituents keen to know when the program is coming to the south side. Could you give us an update?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Davis for his question. It is exciting. We have seen huge numbers of people interested in this pilot project that has started in four Belconnen suburbs, with collections already beginning in single residential households and multi-unit developments as well. It is a really important part of our action on climate change, in reducing the amount of organic matter going into our landfill, which does contribute to climate change through methane gas emissions, and in providing better waste services and building a circular economy in Canberra.

We are starting with a pilot to test how the collections will occur, particularly in challenging environments like large multi-unit properties that have not traditionally had any green waste collection services, because they do not have gardens, but do have a lot of food waste. We will be learning a lot from this. Of course, we have learned a lot from other jurisdictions that have already made the move; around a third of local councils have done so. We will then use those findings to help to inform the future rollout to the rest of Canberra, including to Mr Davis’s electorate of Brindabella.

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