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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3759 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

buying products made of recycled material or of material that can be easily reused or recycled.

The ACT government also needs to show leadership by giving preference in its purchasing to products with high recycled content, promoting a regional approach to waste reduction and recycling and assisting the establishment of recycling businesses in the ACT which can also generate local employment.

Given the ACT's lack of a manufacturing base, the government also needs to work with other governments through national forums like the National Environment Protection Council to put more pressure on industry to reduce their own levels of waste, improve the recyclability of the products they make, and provide a better market for the recyclable waste so that recycling activities can be economic.

In conclusion, the elimination of waste is the way of the future. We cannot just keep burying valuable resources in the ground. It is now up to the ALP government to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability on this issue and commit to the achievement of the no waste by 2010 target.

On a related matter, earlier this year I raised in this place the question of container deposit legislation and I asked the government to take a strong position at the intergovernmental forum on that subject. For members' interest, very recently the National General Assembly of Local Government threw its overwhelming support behind container deposit legislation and extended producer responsibility in all states and territories. Nearly 900 local government leaders from across Australian who attended the National General Assembly of Local Government in Alice Springs supported the South Australian lead and agreed to seek a commitment to CDL from Commonwealth and state governments.

CDL has operated successfully in South Australia for 25 years. There is absolutely no reason why the ACT and New South Wales couldn't do it. There is no reason why we couldn't work much more proactively to achieve that. I hope this resolution of the national assembly has some impact on state and territory governments.

MR CORNWELL (4.52): I am very pleased to participate in this debate. I think one of the problems we face in Australia is the sheer size of the country. We haven't seen the need to concern ourselves about waste because there is plenty of room out there to dump all our rubbish. Unfortunately, too often there has been the general view that it doesn't matter, that we have ample room. Therefore, people have to be constantly reminded of the need to recognise this problem.

I am looking forward to amendments being made to the Litter Act. Mr Wood is well aware of my interest in this matter and he promised that amendments would be introduced in the spring of this year. However, I don't think we will see those amendments until autumn 2003, but never mind.

Mr Wood: I have a response to your question, Mr Cornwell, which says you're right.

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