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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3761 ..

MR CORNWELL (continuing):

We have been talking lately about the problem of plastic bags. I think there are two major difficulties. One is, of course, that there are product limitations. Some items that you may want to buy are made only of plastic. Try it some time. A number of household items that used to be made of wood, or something of that nature, are now made entirely of plastic. It is difficult to recycle such items.

The other difficulty, I suspect, is time and money. I have spoken about vegetable gardens and fruit trees. The fact is that you need to be perhaps of a particular age and certainly of a particular financial circumstance to enjoy the luxury of being able to have fruit trees and a vegetable garden. There is also a time factor. I am thinking of my own circumstances: my wife enjoys gardening and she has the time to do these things. Many other people, particularly younger people with young families, don't.

These are aspects that we need to think about in addressing the whole question of no waste by 2010. We have eight years to think about it. I support the matter of public importance that we are discussing.

MS MacDONALD (4.59): I am very glad to be able to contribute to the debate on Ms Dundas' matter of public importance relating to the no waste 2010 target. Anyone who has followed my time in this place, and indeed my campaign more than a year ago now, will recall my commitment to waste reduction and better waste management. In fact, I, too, raised a matter of public importance on a similar topic in June this year when I spoke about the related bio-bins trial and subsequent developments in waste management and landfill, and this has been referred to by a couple of speakers here today.

Mr Deputy Speaker, today I would like in particular to address the opportunities and barriers presented to us as a government, and to Canberra as a community, in reducing landfill. There is no doubt that being the first community in the world to set a no waste goal has positioned Canberra as a leader in waste management. It has also created significant national and international interest. In fact, each year the ACT hosts delegations and individuals from around the world who visit specifically to see and learn about our strategy and its implementation.

The no waste strategy, or "zero waste" as it is called in many other countries, is becoming the expectation for many communities and countries. I suppose I would agree with what Ms Tucker said about the comment that if you don't have a zero-

At 5.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MS MacDONALD: As I was saying, I would agree with what Ms Tucker said about the comment that if you don't have a no waste or a zero waste strategy, how much waste is acceptable?

It is steadily becoming recognised that unwanted materials need to be seen as a resource to be used and that burying our resources in a hole in the ground is not sustainable or appropriate. Already, many places, such as New Zealand, Toronto and San Francisco, are setting similar targets and many others are moving in that direction.

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