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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 2946 ..

MR HIRD (continuing):

a tip. Those opposite do not understand the significance of someone going into a contaminated site and exposing someone from the media, a photographer. It is a matter of some significance.

Let me tell you what the Government has done over the last five years. Waste sent to landfill has been reduced by 40 per cent and resource recovery levels have almost trebled. By the turn of the millennium, which is just around the corner, there is an expectation that the ACT community will be halfway to becoming the first waste-free society in the world. We may well ask what the former Government did in respect to this, and so may Ms Tucker, who is contaminated. I hope Ms Tucker does not turn the lights out tonight. She may well glow in the dark.

What has this Government done over the last five years? Well, we have reduced the amount of builders' spoil deposited in landfill by up to 50 per cent. We have trebled the recovery rate of demolition waste.

Mr Rugendyke: I take a point of order. Mr Speaker, I am attempting to listen to this debate intently. It is a very serious debate. I would ask that the chamber be silent so that I can hear.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. I uphold the point of order. Let Mr Hird be heard in silence, please.

MR HIRD: We have tripled the recovery rate of demolition waste - Mr Rugendyke, I know you are interested in this - from 44,000-odd tonnes in 1993-94, when we were under their command, to 154,000-odd tonnes in 1998-99. We have increased the recovery of garden waste from 33,000-odd tonnes in 1993-94 to more than 107,000 tonnes in 1998-99. Does that indicate that we are doing something about it, that we are fair dinkum? We installed the methane extraction plants at the two ACT Government landfills, in conjunction with ACTEW. We implemented calico bag trials to discourage the use of plastic bags. That is a great incentive. We established the Canberra Resource Exchange Network and trained almost 200 people in earth works. The Minister is to be complimented for that, as is the Minister for Education.

We have established a resource recovery estate and have progressed the establishment of a no-waste education centre. We have established the Development Control Code for Best Practice Waste Management in the Territory. I notice that Mr Corbell is not in the chamber. I would like to give him some red-hot information. Members know that in the former parliament I supported the development of the proposal for the resource recovery and waste transfer station in Mitchell. This will not only help Gungahlin residents but also the residents of North Canberra.

There are many other innovations. The list goes on and on. The future success of the no waste by 2010 strategy lies in our ability to recover our resources. Disposal of waste at landfill is now generally accepted as inefficient and unnecessary. I go back to the construction of the resource recovery and waste transfer station at Mitchell. It is scheduled to be turned on in the year 2000. The station, which is regarded as a pilot project for future resource recovery and waste handling infrastructure in Canberra and in other parts of Australia, is designed to replace traditional forms of disposal like landfilling. A resource recovery estate has been established in West Belconnen.

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