Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (17 April) . . Page.. 998 ..
MS HORODNY (continuing):
The proposal for a feasibility study to upgrade the Mitchell Waste Disposal Station cuts across the work being done, both within government and through community consultation, to finalise the draft ACT waste management strategy. What we should be doing is looking at waste management across the ACT with a specific focus on implementing ways of reducing the total amount of waste being generated. A proposal to establish a Mitchell waste disposal station would pre-empt the broader decisions that need to be made about waste reduction measures in the ACT. The ACT already has one of the best household recycling schemes in Australia. We do not want to go backwards by simply setting up mechanisms to dispose of those household waste items that are currently difficult to dispose of through the existing collection system. What we should be doing is examining ways of setting up new recycling schemes for these items, not sending them to the landfill via Mitchell.
Another consideration that is not clear from the motion is the financial impact of this proposal. At present people disposing of surplus waste at landfills are required to pay a tip fee. If a transfer station is set up away from the landfills there should also be a fee levied on waste disposed of at these transfer stations, so that people cannot avoid paying the levy. The administration involved in establishing a fee collection facility at a small and relatively less frequented transfer station may be quite inefficient. To put a positive side to this motion, there may be scope for establishing a transfer station in Mitchell for the collection of waste materials that are too bulky to be included in the household recycling system. That will then be transported to the appropriate recycling facilities. It is unclear, however, whether this is the real intent of the motion. It seems that it is not. There is also the question of how such a recycling transfer station - - -
MR SPEAKER: Order! It being 12.30 pm, the debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 77.
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question without notice is to the Chief Minister in her capacity as de facto Minister for Industrial Relations.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Whitecross is about to ask a question.
MR WHITECROSS: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, when you entered into the recent union agreement with the Transport Workers Union, you gave an undertaking that no corporatisation, privatisation or contracting out of ACTION or the ACT Ambulance Service would occur unless agreed between the parties. Does this mean that you will stand by your commitment not to privatise, corporatise or contract out services, and how will this impact on the budget, given that corporatising or contracting out of ACTION services was high on the agenda of reforms?