Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 August 2008) . . Page.. 3386 ..
DR FOSKEY: In talking about the cost of computer disposal, we are paying for this, anyway. It is just such a joke to talk about these things being costs. They end up recurring, no matter what. We know that we have charities and other organisations doing it for us at the moment. We should thank them, support them and help them.
Mr Speaker, I did not expect the government to agree with all our points. I did not even include in the motion things such as plastic bags. But I did think we would hear something that was a little bit cooperative. I would have thought we were working together on this one.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.42): I would like to commend Dr Foskey for bringing forward this important motion and in the same breath condemn the out-of-hand dismissal of this that we have come to expect from Mr Hargreaves, who has shown that he is pretty much a waste of space when it comes to the issue of waste.
It is reprehensible that, after seven years of the Stanhope government and successive ministers for urban services with responsibility for waste, we see no progress. I have to reinforce the comment made by my colleague Mr Pratt that the only substantive item in the budget in relation to no waste was in excess of $800,000 to find a new hole in the ground in the ACT in which to bury our waste, because this minister has dropped the ball on the no waste strategy.
Going back to Dr Foskey’s motion, it is informative to see the extent to which the commissioner for the environment has dwelt on the waste issues, and I commend her for that. In a wider debate about the State of the environment report, if we had the opportunity to have that—it is not before the Assembly, as Mr Hargreaves says; there is no motion or paper to be noted—I would perhaps talk about the merits and demerits of the commissioner’s State of the environment report, but I think that she covered the areas in relation to waste very comprehensively indeed.
Dr Foskey’s motion points to the seven years of failings of the Stanhope government and their failure to address these issues. There are some elements in the third paragraph of the motion that I would have some concern about, in that perhaps they would not be the Liberal Party’s priorities. I understand the merits of things like developing a zero waste education facility, but at the same time I would like to see the money that the Canberra Liberals would contribute to no waste go more to the pointy end at this stage. I understand the value of education but I would also like to see the pointy end of service delivery here. But there is much in what Dr Foskey has put in her motion that warrants support and that does not warrant the sort of dismissive approach taken by Mr Hargreaves, as is his wont. He has only one form of debate in here—that is, to ridicule everybody else and, in the same breath, discredit himself by his clowning around.
On the subject of clowning around, it is very informative to note the failure of successive ministers over seven years to address the issue of putrescible waste. I know it is something that I bang on about, but there are solutions and this government, through Bill Wood and John Hargreaves, have failed to address the issue. On a number of occasions I have quizzed successive ministers about their approach to putrescible waste, and the officials get up and say: “Mrs Dunne, we’ve been around