Page 2217 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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This government continues to develop effective and efficient waste management programs. This is for the benefit of Dr Foskey, who thought I was not listening. Of course, she was right. The 2008-09 budget will provide funding to improve operations at waste facilities, including a new household fluorescent light recycling scheme, a television recycling trial and a permanent household chemical and hazardous waste drop-off facility at Mugga Lane. These initiatives will not only reduce the volume of waste to landfill but, importantly, reduce the toxicity of material being deposited at landfill.

All old tyres from the ACT will soon be diverted to recycling, with many tyre retailers directly taking up available recycling alternatives. Any remaining tyres being deposited at Mugga Lane will also be sent for recycling rather than being disposed of at landfill. Now, you did not know that, did you?

Mrs Dunne: Well, good on you.

MR HARGREAVES: You didn’t know that.

Mrs Dunne: No, I did not know that.

MR HARGREAVES: There you go; you learn something new every day of your life, don’t you? Additional budget initiatives include the development of the “Growing, the resource recovery industry and waste-derived products market development” report to assist in further increasing the resource recovery performance of the ACT and ensure that materials recovered have sustainable markets. Increased planning and maintenance funding for waste facilities are also being provided to ensure that facilities continue to meet community expectations.

Another issue raised by Mrs Dunne and Mr Smyth in their dissenting report is the issue of random roadside drug testing. The opposition wanted an immediate trial. We had one, and they were found guilty! This government believes that this complex issue requires consideration and extensive consultation prior to any trial being undertaken here. On 1 May 2008, I released a public discussion paper as part of a review of the Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1977, which sets the ACT’s alcohol and drug-driving laws. The discussion paper addresses the issues relating to drugs and driving, as well as alcohol, interlock devices, blood alcohol concentration levels and other alcohol and drug-driving issues.

There are a number of significant issues that need to be addressed before introducing random roadside drug testing in the ACT. The efficiency of the testing devices, whilst much improved in recent years, would have to be confirmed. The implementation of a drug-driving testing program would need to be consistent with human rights and criminal law principles. In addition to this discussion paper, on 6 June 2008 the University of Canberra hosted a drugs and driving forum to contribute to the review of alcohol and drug-driving laws. The forum provided an opportunity for the public to hear from experts on the impact of drugs on driving, learn about random roadside drug testing practices in other parts of Australia and gain insight into current research into drug driving.

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