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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 November 2010) . . Page.. 5430 ..

The government is currently finalising its consideration of a draft waste strategy to provide for public comment, which will outline a range of measures to address and tackle the issue of separating more waste out of the domestic waste stream in particular, particularly those organic or wet wastes—the food scraps, for example, that comprise a significant component of domestic waste from households—and measures to provide for the reuse of that waste, and diverting it away from landfill. It is certainly an issue of significant attention by the government at this time.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Le Couteur?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, are you aware that for other cities providing organic waste recycling the service has turned out to be cost neutral or even cost positive?

MR CORBELL: I am aware that there are a range of technologies available to provide for the capture and reuse of organic waste from households. The territory’s draft waste strategy, which will be released for public comment later this year, will outline the detailed cost-benefit that the territory has already undertaken in relation to the range of methodologies that could be used to capture organic wastes and to reuse them. We will put that information out to the broader community and ask for their views on those issues. We will identify in the draft waste strategy how we believe organic waste can be most cost effectively captured and reused and therefore diverted from landfill. That material will be made available as part of the government’s consultation on its draft waste strategy.

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Minister, given that the previous waste strategy expired at the beginning of the year and there is still nothing to replace it, what impact is the delay having on the government’s ability to address our growing waste problems?

MR CORBELL: I do not know whether Ms Bresnan heard my previous answer but it is quite clear that the government has not been sitting on its hands on this issue. A detailed waste strategy is close to finalisation, for public comment, and I will be very happy to provide a detailed briefing to members to demonstrate the extent of the government’s thinking as we move forward and provide an innovative and forward-thinking waste strategy which will achieve further reductions to landfill.

Ms Le Couteur: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, the question was about the impact on current waste operations and recycling, not on whether or not a draft strategy is being prepared.

MR SPEAKER: Yes. Mr Corbell?

MR CORBELL: As far as I am aware, there has been no impact on current waste operations.

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