Michelle Lensink

Zero Waste SA

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Environment a question about Zero Waste.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The annual report for 2005-06 for Zero Waste refers to a project entitled 'Benefit cost analysis for South Australia's waste strategy'. According to the annual report, the study will assess the drivers and barriers for achieving the targets and how Zero Waste SA can adjust resource allocation to achieve a better cost benefit outcome. My questions to the minister are:

1. Can she confirm that a draft report is available but has not been released because the government does not like what is in it?

2. Has she received any reports from the EPA outlining its concern about stockpiling in the resource recovery and recycling sectors as a result of any increase to the waste levy, and does she support any further increases in the solid waste levy in future financial years?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Environment and Conservation, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health) (14:36): I thank the honourable member for her questions. In relation to the draft report, I would need to take that question on notice and bring back a response. I am not absolutely sure where it is up to, but I am happy to obtain the information and make it available. In terms of stockpiling, the EPA has indeed raised the issue; this is not a new issue. The EPA certainly has not raised it in relation to any increase in the waste levy fee, but it has been an ongoing issue for some time, the way that some of the industry operates. The EPA has given me some information through a briefing about that, and it has outlined strategies that it has put in place to monitor it and ensure compliance. I am satisfied with that. In terms of the waste levy, it is a budget matter. As the honourable member is well aware, all budget matters are considered in the annual budgetary process.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:10): Can the minister confirm whether, in relation to kerbside recycling and contamination from organic waste, it is correct (as she stated last week on radio) that, with any amount of organic waste, it means that the whole truckload is dumped into landfill, or whether it was, in fact, a furphy, as one of the callers rang in to advise?

The PRESIDENT: I do not know whether that supplementary question was out of last week's answer or out of last week's radio interview.

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: It was supposed to be out of the answer given today.

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Environment and Conservation, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health) (15:11): I am very pleased to have the opportunity to set the record straight in relation to that particular matter. In fact, I did not say on radio that contaminated bins would necessarily result in the dumping of a complete container load of waste. In fact, a great deal of resources go into sifting through the waste and removing those items that are not sorted in the appropriate bins. What I did do on radio was promote people's awareness of the importance of putting waste in appropriate bin collections, and I tried to make people more aware of that. Many people put incorrect materials in bins simply out of ignorance; so we are conducting a campaign at the moment which is about improving people's awareness and educating them about the appropriate materials to go into the bins. I am not too sure how that misleading information got about but, as I said, if incorrect material goes into waste collection the result is that it requires considerable human resources to have to then sift through that material and sort out the items that should not be there.

Thursday 19 June 2008

In reply to the Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14 November 2007).

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Environment and Conservation, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health): I have been advised:

The report entitled 'Benefit cost analysis for South Australia's waste strategy' is available on the Zero Waste SA web site together with a peer review report and a Zero Waste SA explanatory paper.

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