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Tuesday, 3 May 1994
Page: 93

(Question No. 956)

Senator Bell asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Human Services, upon notice, on 21 December 1993:

  (1) What type of sewerage treatment and disposal are undertaken by local governments in Australia.

  (2) How many local governments undertake each type.

  (3) Why types of sewerage treatment and disposal are undertaken by other government or semi-government authorities in Australia.

  (4) How many authorities undertake each type.

  (5) How many local governments or authorities sell treated sewerage.

  (6) Will the Government, as part of its commitment to an economically sustainable future, offer financial incentives to government and semi-government authorities to invest in capital equipment which can recycle human sewerage.

  (7) Will the Government offer financial incentives to local governments to introduce kerbside recycling and collection schemes.

Senator Bolkus —The Minister for Housing and Regional Development has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1)-(5) The Commonwealth is not responsible for sewage treatment facilities in the States and Territories. This is the responsibility of State and Territory governments and Local Government. No comprehensive statistics are available in relation to the questions asked.

  (6) In general it is not seen as the Commonwealth's role to provide assistance to Local Government authorities for capital expenditure in relation to sewerage treatment works; however, there have been a number of relatively small programs in recent years established to address some priority areas. These include the Country Towns Water Supply Improvement Program and Western Australian Sewerage and Water Quality Infrastructure Program.

  (7) Responsibility for the introduction of kerbside recycling and collection schemes lies with Local and State Governments. The Commonwealth believes that Local and State Governments, through their powers to control and determine waste disposal charges, already has the ability to put kerbside recycling on a firmer financial basis.