Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 May 2017) . . Page.. 1627 ..
worth sending a truck up and down every street in those areas simply looking for the lone green bin that may perhaps have been put out that fortnight. The question is: is that economically viable?
The issue, though, much closer to my heart, is: what happens to local industry that is already operating in this space and has been operating legitimately, filling a need of the community for many years, their businesses and their livelihoods, as the government continues to push its green bin policy across the ACT? Just last week I was contacted by a constituent who runs a trash pack collection service. He has a young family. He has three kids. He bought the business a number of years ago. It has been in operation for over 30 years. He has three kids, a mortgage, a business loan. He has five employees and before his very eyes he is watching his business evaporate directly as a result of government policy. I really think that those opposite need to be condemned for implementing a government policy that will destroy the livelihoods of so many Canberrans unilaterally without any consideration of or even any support or offer to help those businesses survive.
It is not just one individual family here that is at risk. You have not only got the business owner and his family but the five staff that he employs and their families who are now questioning what job security they have moving forward. For the champions of the worker over there to come in and unilaterally nationalise an industry like this and destroy these people’s livelihoods without any consideration of compensation or support just stinks of hypocrisy.
I look forward to hearing what the minister has to say on this issue. Hopefully the minister will start talking about some involvement of local industry in the scheme going forward or perhaps some assistance to ensure the livelihoods of these families who have done the right thing, have taken the risk, have gone into business for themselves, sought to create opportunities for others and have done so successfully, as even Mr Corbell noted, capturing 90 per cent of green waste in this city effectively over the past couple of decades. They are now being forced out of the industry with a single stroke of the government’s pen. I look forward to hearing what the minister has to say.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (6.29): I welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter tonight. I am mindful of the time and whilst I have a fair bit to say about this I am going to truncate my comments in the spirit of getting this done. Efforts to divert garden waste from landfill including through the green bins pilot are an important part of the ACT’s waste management strategy. I will be proposing an amendment which has just been circulated to Mr Steel’s motion to ensure the evaluation of the pilot informs any further rollout.
The use of green bins to collect garden waste does not come without some risks and it is important that the evaluation of the pilot program includes an assessment of these issues. Of particular concern is the potential for contamination of the green waste which would make it unsuitable for composting or conversion to mulch.
It is important that the garden waste collected through the green bin program is valued as a resource and that the way it is collected allows for it to be used to its highest