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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3752 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

to compost. The bio-bin was a good first step. We need to work out why the government thought that program wasn't going to work, address those problems and have it reintroduced.

Re-use of waste is integral to sustainability. Reducing waste will help create jobs, save land, conserve our non-renewable resources and help strengthen our communities. It can help alleviate poverty and bring people together through networks and markets to exchange goods. There are so many reasons-not just the environmental ones, even though they are a key concern-to make the no waste target a reality. We have to give the target our full commitment.

Hopefully the debate today will remind the ACT government of the commitment that we have to no waste by 2010, and spark further debate. Hopefully we won't be sitting here in eight years time lamenting the fact that we were unable to reach our goal. I hope we do not have a future where high amounts of waste still go to landfill and impact on our environment and where our garden city is a waste dump. I hope that members participate in this debate and that we can continue to push forward for no waste by 2010.

MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services) (4.25): Mr Speaker, I am pleased today to be able to talk about the importance of the no waste by 2010 strategy. I don't know about recommitting; I am not aware that we have ever uncommitted in order to recommit. It is a bit like asking me when am I going to get married again, when I haven't got unmarried. But certainly it is important.

Mrs Dunne: You need more commitment there.

MR WOOD: Indeed. I will just watch what I say to you. It is an important issue and it is well to be reminded of it.

When the no waste by 2010 waste management strategy for Canberra was developed and released back in 1996, the ACT was the first community, I think anywhere, to set a target to achieve a waste-free community. Now, as then, I congratulate the former government on its introduction. At that time, 2010 was almost 15 years away. Although it was recognised that it would be a significant challenge to get there, it was also believed that if government, industry and community worked at making this happen, we could achieve the goal. And that is still the case.

It was recognised that this strategy would position the ACT as a centre of excellence in waste management and assist us to make real progress towards sustainability. I understand that other local authorities in Australia and beyond have also, by this time, set such a target.

Implementation of the no waste strategy has been progressing in stages and we are now reaching the end of the second stage, which was the next step for the years 2000 to 2002. So far we are making good progress, and for the year 2001-02 we achieved a 64 per cent resource recovery rate. That is the highest rate in Australia and is certainly a world-class result.

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