Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3209 ..
MS TUCKER: My question, directed to the Minister for Urban Services, relates to the Totalcare incinerator in Mitchell. Minister, you will know that Greenpeace have just issued a report on toxic hot spots in Australia which includes the Totalcare incinerator at Mitchell. You may also be aware that there was a debate in this Assembly about the incinerator in the early part of last year after Greenpeace and the Conservation Council raised concerns about the burning of pesticides at the incinerator and the potential for toxic fumes to be emitted from this burning. A motion was passed in the Assembly on 14 May 1997 calling on the Government to implement a range of new procedures at the incinerator. I am not sure whether these procedures were actually implemented. Could you therefore tell us what improvements to the monitoring of gas emissions from the incinerator have been made since that motion was passed and what the results have been?
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I thank Ms Tucker for her question. I have met with Greenpeace twice in the last couple of months. For the information of members, as I have indicated to Greenpeace, ACTEW and Totalcare have been granted environmental authorisations under the Environment Protection Act 1997 to operate incinerators in strict accordance with specific authorisation conditions. One of the authorisation conditions requires both ACTEW and Totalcare to conduct annual testing of emissions, including dioxins, from their facilities and to report the results of such testing to the Environment Management Authority. My understanding is that ACTEW and Totalcare conducted emission testing in May 1998 and in October 1998 and that we are still awaiting the results for the Totalcare incinerator. I understand that they are due shortly.
Ms Tucker: You do not have the results?
MR SMYTH: No, not yet.
MS TUCKER: I ask a supplementary question. The motion passed in May 1997 also called for the Commissioner for the Environment to prepare a report on the appropriateness of incineration of pesticides and agricultural chemicals at the incinerator. Could you inform the Assembly where that work of the commissioner is up to at the moment?
MR SMYTH: Ms Tucker, I will have to find out where that report has gone. I am not aware of the progress on it, but I will get back to you as quickly as I can.
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Does the Chief Minister still hold the view that she has the support of Canberra small businesses in her ideological headlong rush towards the privatisation of ACTEW, and does she still agree that privatisation will deliver more efficient electricity and water services to