Page 253 - Week 01 - Thursday, 14 February 2008

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areas. I look forward to working with you in a genuinely bipartisan, cooperative way in furthering issues for indigenous Canberrans.

Legislative Assembly—carpet replacement

DR FOSKEY: My question is to you, Mr Speaker. It concerns the replacement of carpet in the Assembly. You would be aware that the replacement of carpet in the building has necessitated the disposal of several skip loads of material. I have been advised that much of the replaced carpet appeared to be in virtually new condition, although other parts are worn or damaged. I know there would be many community organisations who could have made good use of the better bits.

You may also be aware, Mr Speaker, of the existence of carpet supply and recycling businesses that ensure that all floor coverings they use are reused or recycled when replaced. Could you please advise the Assembly of the efforts that were made to ensure that the carpet replacement project was undertaken on a sustainable basis and whether the processes echo those used across government?

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Dr Foskey, for the question. I received some advance notice that you were going to ask this question. I have not been able to put together a complete answer, so much of it I will take on notice and come back to you in the normal way.

Can I say that, over the years, on environmental questions we have taken a number of initiatives to improve environmental sustainability and how it comes across in this organisation. We have engaged a consultant to commence a series of audits about how we manage our environmental sustainability in the Assembly building. They will provide us with some baseline information upon which to act and build for improving our environmental sustainability over the coming years. It will focus on things like energy usage, water usage and waste management, a category which this carpet falls into.

My understanding is that the carpet is about 13 years old. That is about right. As you say, some of it was quite badly worn and has been the subject of interest and complaint by some members in recent times.

My preliminary information on the subject is that the contractors that installed the carpet and removed the old stuff advise that they used to recycle it by sending it to Japan but it became uneconomic to do so. That practice has long since ceased.

We will be seeking some further details from the contractors and I will provide you with a fuller answer once I have all that information together.

DR FOSKEY: A supplementary question. What assurance can you give the Assembly that there are no health and safety risks, including possible release of toxic material, associated with the installation of the new carpet?

MR SPEAKER: Of course, contractors who work here are required to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the ACT. I presume, at this point, that contractors comply with the requirements of that act when they are working in the

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