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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1063 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

the pressures experienced in the implementation of effective kerbside recycling by the former Labor government were in marked contrast with the pressures experienced in other jurisdictions. Because of the kerbside recycling initiative introduced by the Follett government, we have managed to achieve significant and impressive rates of recycling within the territory.

The Beverage Industry Environment Council's national recycling audit for 1997 provides the most recent data with which to compare recycling achievements between jurisdictions. I think this data will be of particular interest to members. In South Australia, which has had a container deposit scheme for quite some years, the recovery rate for aluminium cans was 9 per cent, compared with 70 per cent for the ACT's kerbside recycling scheme. For glass containers, the comparable figures were 35 per cent for South Australian and 75 per cent for the ACT. That is a very strong record for recycling, but we need to continue to work to improve it.

Container deposit legislation is one potential way of promoting the principle of extended producer responsibility. The ACT is a signatory to the national packaging covenant, which aims to reduce the amount of consumer packaging in use. Signatories to the covenant develop action plans, which include targets for the recovery of packaging. It is worth noting that the New South Wales container deposit legislation report recommends that container deposit legislation be introduced or that industry recycling targets be strengthened.

New South Wales has referred the issue of container deposit legislation to the Environment Protection and Heritage Ministerial Council, which includes the National Environment Protection Council. This issue will be debated in this national forum and that will be an appropriate opportunity to see that all the issues are canvassed more thoroughly.

It is worth noting also that the container deposit legislation only targets a somewhat limited range of commonly littered materials, such as glass, plastic bottles and aluminium cans. It does not make any provision for addressing other materials that make up a significant part of the ACT waste stream. Whilst it is important to pay close attention to the possibility of introducing container deposit legislation in the ACT, we would still need to focus strongly on other parts of the waste stream, including paper, organic material and builders' waste, and our efforts to reduce the amount of material which ends up in landfill also needs to be directed at these areas in which significant gains must be made if we are to achieve a target of no waste by 2010.

Mr Wood, as the minister, will be discussing this matter when it is raised at the Environment Protection and Heritage Ministerial Council. The government is very happy to provide in-principle support to Ms Tucker's motion.


(6.13): Until Ms Tucker brought this matter to my attention recently, I would have thought that the notion of container deposit legislation was dead in the water; but I am glad to say that, with this report, it has been revived. The report of the independent review of container deposit legislation in New South Wales makes extremely interesting reading and increased my enthusiasm for revisiting this issue. CDL will do nothing by itself; there has to be a holistic approach. But I am firmly in favour of

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