I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question on the subject of the REDcycle program.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: For honourable members' benefit, the REDcycle soft plastics recycling program is run by a Victorian-based company, The Red Group, which originally started operating in Melbourne across 115 Coles supermarkets. The Red Group process material at its facility in Melbourne and forward it for manufacturing to another Victorian company known as Replas. In December last year, the program was brought to South Australia, with 42 Coles supermarkets participating. On 13 February, the minister announced that this government has pledged $50,000 to this program. My questions are:
1.Can the minister advise how the $50,000 is to be spent and whether it is to be directly provided to those two Victorian companies?
2.Did the minister consider whether any South Australian companies could have been utilised?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) (15:12): I thank the honourable member for her very important questions. Before answering, can I just say that I have long thought that the Hon. Ms Lensink was the youngest member of this chamber, and I was shocked to discover that the Hon. Ms Vincent holds that distinction. I believe that, in terms of youthful appearance, they could be twins!
An honourable member: If you have to say something, you have to say something nice.
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Well, that's right. What a privilege it must be for her to spend her birthday here with all of us in the chamber today.
The PRESIDENT: I can hardly wait for the supplementaries on this!
The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink: Be still my heart!
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Happy birthday! As the Hon. Ms Lensink said, South Australians can now recycle the soft plastics, which we have not be able to do before. It has been a bit of a nuisance for people who do like to recycle, as I know most of us do, because you are not supposed to put your soft plastics into the recycle bin; it upsets the recycling machines quite a deal.
I understand that now, through this program, which we announced last week, I think, the state government has been contributing to the scheme. It is a national scheme. It was trialled first, I believe, in Victoria, and it is a cooperative program between the commonwealth government and industry bodies. It started, of course, in Victoria first as the trial or the pilot of the program. That is why Replas has been given this consideration, and that is why it is part of the scheme.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:14): I have a supplementary question. Were South Australian companies considered?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) (15:14): I cannot answer that because, as I said, it is a national program, in partnership between industry at a national level and the commonwealth government. Perhaps they considered many providers across the country, but they chose Replas.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:14): I have a further supplementary. Will the minister endeavour to find out?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) (15:14): As a birthday present perhaps I should consider that, but I suggest that the honourable member do her own homework.