Page 3829 - Week 10 - Thursday, 27 August 2009

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I will also be travelling to Europe and will be taking the opportunity to meet a range of government representatives, in particular the federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in Germany, who is a strong advocate of progressive policies in energy and the green economy. This will be a very valuable experience.

I think these are the sorts of steps we need to take to make sure that our policies are well informed by best practice. There is no doubt that it is in western Europe where we have seen very significant strides forward in progressive policy to put in place sustainable policies that create the right environment for the establishment of renewable energy generation and that create the right environment for efficient practices around energy use and energy management.

These lessons will be brought back to the ACT and we will use those in further informing our policies to drive our goal and our ambition for Canberra to be a zero net emissions city, the first in Australia to achieve that goal.


MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and concerns the management of the Mugga Lane and Mitchell landfills. Minister, Thiess runs the landfill at the tip, and it earns money from this. But you have now put Thiess in charge of the reusable facilities, so it gets to decide what materials will be reused or go to landfill. This would appear to be a conflict. How is this managed?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will take some advice on the specific or particular detail of the contractual arrangements that apply at Mitchell and at Mugga. I think, in fact, the contractual arrangements up to date have differentiated between the two. Indeed, I think it is the case that Thiess have been the designated contractor for all activities at Mitchell and that they actually then, in the nature of the arrangement, subcontract it to Aussie Junk at Mitchell. The contractual arrangement at Mugga was different in that the contract was directly with Aussie Junk. I think there is a difference and a differentiation between the two waste disposal areas. I will check the arrangements in place. I will check that, Ms Le Couteur. I say that by way of background to illustrate that I think it is the way the waste recovery operations, particularly in relation to reusables, have operated for some time.

I am interested in your suggestion or the proposition that there is a potential or even a perception—I must say I have never even imagined a perception—of a conflict of interest between the role of Thiess in waste disposal and the role of Thiess in the reusables aspect of waste collection and disposal. It is not something that has occurred to me. I must say that issues even of perception of conflict of interest I think are normally fairly obvious, and I do not see what the conflict of interest would be in an arrangement such as that which has persisted of a head contractor who has certain responsibilities in relation to waste disposal and certain other contractual responsibilities in relation to reusables.

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