Page 762 - Week 02 - Thursday, 12 February 2009

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These are the issues we need to talk through. We have made no decisions. The significant issue between that proposal and Revolve is that Revolve did not separate into waste streams at the tip face all of those materials—that great amount of waste that is still going to landfill that involves all wood, all metal, all concrete or all bricks. It still goes straight through. Revolve took that matter that it believed it could sell.

You would notice yourself by going to see the work of Aussie Junk or Revolve that they do not take concrete, tar, bricks or a whole range of metals. They take some and they fulfil a very useful purpose. But it is a different order of screening or recycling. We are talking about 20,000 tonnes of waste that is currently not being taken by Aussie Junk because it does not have the capacity to separate it or for which it does not believe there is a market in the context of its operation.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary question?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. In his answer to Ms Bresnan’s question yesterday, the minister stated that performing recycling work at the tip face is “not particularly sexy” and that the $4.7 million was about “employing people to perform this job”. Given that Revolve spent many years building relationships with low-skilled workers and others who might be able to provide at least a partial waste stream separation as was previously done at no cost to the government, would it not be more cost effective to let Revolve continue doing the work it started off doing?

MR STANHOPE: Ms Le Couteur, the role which Revolve previously undertook or played at our waste distribution depots or our waste depots, as you know, is now a function that is performed by Aussie Junk. The question, of course, was why is Revolve not doing it. Revolve is not doing it because, through an open tender process, Revolve was not successful in achieving the contract to actually perform or pursue that particular function.

There was an open tender process which we believe was appropriate in the context of value for money and in the context of an assessment of the most efficient way of actually achieving the purpose or the outcome that the government sought in relation to recycling at that level and of that status. It is an issue, Ms Le Couteur, of open and transparent government tendering. There was a tender process, objectively assessed by officers, not by government. The outcomes of that tender process were that the successful tenderer was Aussie Junk.

This happens all the time. It happens essentially in relation to most contracts every five years. It is about open, transparent government. It is about best value for money. It is about achieving best outcomes consistent with an acceptable or agreed policy. No matter to what extent the heart strings might be tugged by Revolve in relation to the function that it performed, that particular contract was put to open tender, was assessed objectively and transparently, and Revolve was not successful in the process.

Ms Le Couteur asked whether it would be better for this particular function which is now performed by Aussie Junk to be performed by Revolve. I do not think that is the heart of your question, but that is the essential conclusion that one must draw, or are you suggesting that we should bring Revolve in as well and have Aussie Junk and

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