THE Canberra Liberals are accusing ACT Labor of “rebadging” an already announced, announcement on food waste and labelling it as an election promise.
This morning Chief Minister Andrew Barr said Labor will commit to a city-wide food waste collection, which would cost about $12 million, over a staged roll out from 2021 to 2023, to get it up and running.
The announcement, though, sounds similar to a commitment made in June last year, as part of the 2019/20 Budget, where the ACT government said it was planning for a food and garden organics processing site and facility to help work towards more food waste being recycled instead of ending up in landfill.
This “ongoing investment”, the announcement said, in better recycling and waste management will be supported through a levy on disposal of waste, bringing the ACT into line with NSW and other Australian jurisdictions.
A few months later, in September, Waste Reduction Minister Chris Steel said that in the longer term the government was examining ways to reduce organic waste, with more than 140,000 tonnes going to landfill each year.
“Around one-third of material in ACT household rubbish bins is food and garden waste,” said the minister.
“The ACT government is planning for a food organics collection service to divert this waste from landfill and instead turn it into valuable organic compost products.”
Unconvinced of this “new policy”, shadow environment minister Elizabeth Lee called the government out this afternoon, saying: “Labor are actually rebadging this ‘so-called’ announcement, which is just a fix up of their failures.”
“The reality is that Labor should have really brought in this food waste [bin policy], back when the green bins rolled out. They miss[ed] a great opportunity and are now rebadging this as this brand new policy announcement. They are just playing catch up.”
Under a Canberra Liberals government, Ms Lee said they would bring food waste bins to all Canberra households.
“This is part of a national action plan that was announced last year and there is no reason that we would not adopt it in the same way if we’re in government,” she said.