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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2122 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

As far as I am concerned, Mr Speaker, before the milk bottles go, perhaps the current ACT Milk Authority should go. If we do not have in place the right people who can ensure not only that we have the milk bottles but also that we have an enhanced system of encouraging people to buy milk in bottles, which is an environmentally friendly method of packaging milk, then I think we should find people who are prepared to do this. My understanding is that the decision that was made within the Milk Authority was not known by either Mrs Carnell or Mr De Domenico. Indeed, if they did not know, then perhaps it is the Milk Authority that needs to be recycled. Who knows how those people might be reused? We might even use the opportunity to reduce them.

The current Milk Authority does not seem to understand this issue. I know that Mr De Domenico made a great effort to ensure that a new bottling machine was installed in Canberra, and expenditure was spent in that way. Nobody can take away from him the credit for the effort that was put into that. He certainly consulted me, and I know that he consulted other members quite regularly on that. For some reason, the message does not seem to have got through to the current Milk Authority that there are no committees to see whether or not we need bottles. We do need bottles. It is something that is already there. Their role is to work out how to maintain the number of milk bottles used, how to ensure that it is done safely, and how to ensure, preferably, an increase in the use of milk bottles within the ACT.

We already know that regional areas of New South Wales and South Australia are investigating how they can reintroduce milk bottles into their areas. Canberra has been one of the few places that have committed themselves to this kind of protection of the environment. That is how it should remain, particularly for conservation reasons. Also, Mr Speaker, it is quite clear that many people actually like to have their milk in bottles. There is a whole series of reasons for that, not the least of which is that this is the only way in which you can actually get ordinary pasteurised fresh milk - the milk with the cream on the top of the bottle, where you have to shake the bottle. You have to beat the kids to the bottle; otherwise, they will have taken the cream off the top first. I speak from personal experience.

Mr Speaker, this is an important issue. I think it needs to be said very clearly that until now I have supported the approach that the Minister has taken; but the Milk Authority has to be told that this is not a matter of if, or perhaps when - that their responsibility is how to ensure that they keep the milk bottles coming to people in Canberra.

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