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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1760 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

of packaging that would otherwise simply go to waste. In some instances, these waste reduction plans are agreed on by industry, so they act as a code, if you like, without a mandatory requirement. In other instances, where they are not necessarily uniformly agreed by industry, they are made mandatory.

We believe that sort of approach should be pursued here in the ACT. The government's Waste Minimisation Bill, which was introduced in the last sitting and which is to be debated tomorrow, provides the framework for the sorts of industry waste-reduction plans that we believe could address this particular source of waste in the territory. In our view, reducing waste and encouraging recycling and reuse is best achieved through a cooperative approach that encourages all of the participants in the waste creation process to look at how they are creating waste and how they can undertake steps to reduce the level of waste created. That is an approach we believe should be adopted in this case.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I foreshadow that the Labor Party will be supporting the Waste Minimisation Bill tomorrow, and it will do so partly because it provides a framework to industry for an approach to reducing waste. For that reason we cannot support this bill today. This bill is well intentioned but it is, in our view, unfortunately a case of top-down legislating that does not bring the key participants in the process with it in terms of actually getting the outcome we all want. I commend Ms Tucker for raising the issue, but its delivery, as Mr Moore said, is not one that can be supported.

MS TUCKER (4.33), in reply: Obviously, I am not getting support for this. Mr Moore is again worried about me not consulting. He does worry about that. Yes, we did send out copies of this bill to various industry members. We got a response from Kingsley's Chicken: they did not like it. We thought we were getting a response from one of the consultancy groups that were representing McDonald's and a couple of fast food chains, but they did not get back to us after we sent them the bill. Obviously, we were not expecting industry to be delighted with this proposal; we are working to an environmental imperative.

We did take into account business concerns, though, which Mr Moore seems not to understand. We put a year for phasing this in. Mr Moore might think that is not enough time-I guess we have a different sense of the critical nature of environmental change. I often hear from governments of both persuasions-Labor and Liberal-that the voluntary approach is the best approach. I am totally happy with working co-operatively with people and industry, and I am aware of what this government is doing working with codes. I am aware of the more novel national arrangement at the moment, which is that you can volunteer or you will be forced to work with regulations.

Even though industry never wants to be regulated, there is now a national acknowledgment that this issue is a little bit more urgent than a luxury item-you can do it if you want to. With the national approach, if you do not sign up to the voluntary agreement, you will have a heavy regulatory requirement and obligation. We did give a year for this. We did consider industry. We did not apply it as widely as we could have. We did not apply it to takeaway food sold by eateries. We did not apply it to prepackaged food such as sugar packets and drink bottles or to small items such as drinking straws. We gave the businesses 12 months to phase in these changes.

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