Page 515 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 5 March 2008

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MR SPEAKER: Come to the question.

DR FOSKEY: Constituents complain that the ACT is falling behind many local governments around Australia which have successful green waste programs, including Queanbeyan and Eurobodalla in our region. I have also heard anecdotal evidence, including from someone at the landfill face, that a large part of the garbage placed in ACT garbage bins is, in fact, green waste. Could the minister please estimate the proportion of green waste going to landfill and indicate whether this is a concern?

MR HARGREAVES: A fair bit, actually.

Mrs Dunne: Fifteen per cent, Johnno.

MR HARGREAVES: Mrs Dunne informs us all that it is 15 per cent, Mr Speaker. As I absolutely trust Mrs Dunne implicitly with my life, I will take the question on notice and check her figures and report back.

I am not so sure that we ought to base our policy development on anecdotes out of the Eurobodalla shire. I think that a little bit more concrete evidence than that may drive our no waste strategy. I think our no waste strategy overall is a very good one. We are leading the country in many, many parts of our recycling, reuse and recovery. Dr Foskey does talk about green waste specifically. We do not have a pick-up at the bottom of every driveway.

Mr Barr: Give it to the policeman.

MR HARGREAVES: Give the policeman that Mr Pratt put there something to do. We do, however, have no tip fees for green waste. We have advertising programs every year. We encourage people to do the right thing with their green waste. We do also talk about advertising to encourage people to compost. We also pay for the green waste recycling at the landfill sites. It is an interesting thing. You actually have to pay if you go and get yourself some compost from that contractor at the landfill, but we are paying for it as well. So your rates are actually paying the contractor to recycle the green waste and then you go and buy it off him. So you are actually paying for the stuff twice.

Mrs Dunne: So we are paying twice?

MR HARGREAVES: Yes. You are actually paying twice. That was a contract negotiated by guess who—those bleatologists on the other side of the chamber. I think we are doing quite well. I will get specific information to Dr Foskey and hotfoot it back into the chamber at the earliest opportunity.

DR FOSKEY: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. What is it about the ACT that makes green waste pick-up programs more difficult to run here than in Queanbeyan and Eurobodalla?

MR HARGREAVES: Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we have 328,000 people living here.

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