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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2304 ..

Glass Milk Bottles : Lower Molonglo Treatment Works

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr De Domenico. I was going to ask him a question about the two-hour overspill at the Lower Molonglo works this morning and why they did not notify people downstream; but instead I have decided to ask him about milk bottles.

MR SPEAKER: Never mind what you were going to ask. Please ask your question, Mr Moore.

MR MOORE: Okay. Why is it that in Australia we have been using glass milk bottles for most of this century and there has not been a real public safety issue before; why is it that we have been using glass soft drink bottles for most of this century and there has not been a public safety risk until now; but, just when the Milk Authority is not keen about glass milk bottles, we suddenly start finding glass in the bottles? After all, which is more important - the current Milk Authority or having our milk in glass bottles?

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Mr Moore for his question. It has been asked before by Mr Wood. Mr Moore would be aware that, unlike many soft drink bottles, milk bottles are reused time and time again. I would also like to inform Mr Moore - - -

Mr Moore: Coke bottles are too in South Australia, and always have been.

MR DE DOMENICO: I would also like to inform Mr Moore, if he cares to listen, that the glass mould that is being used to produce the current milk bottles, I am advised, is not the same as it used to be and that the quality of the glass itself is not the same as it used to be. Let me confirm it once again, Mr Moore: If the Government can continue to provide Canberra consumers with - - -

Mr Berry: Here is the out - the broken glass in the bottles.

MR DE DOMENICO: No, it is not an out at all, Mr Berry.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Do not respond to Mr Berry. You are answering Mr Moore.

MR DE DOMENICO: I am glad that Mr Berry interjects. I can tell you, Mr Speaker, that, if it is the case that we cannot assure the Canberra community that when they open their milk bottle they are not going to swallow glass, I will give a direction to pull glass milk bottles off the market. If we can continue to provide a healthy, wholesome product in glass to Canberra milk consumers, we will continue to do so. In answer to Mr Moore's last question, it is more important, as far as I am concerned, to continue to provide milk in glass bottles. Notwithstanding what the Milk Authority says to me, the Government will make the final decision, not the Milk Authority.

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, I am sort of pleased with most of Mr De Domenico's answer; but my supplementary question is: Minister, are you aware of standard Yes, Minister tactics?

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