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Monday, 28 February 2011
Page: 791


Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, upon notice, on 6 December 2010:

With reference to the Government’s National Waste Policy and the proposed Product Stewardship legislation under which national recycling policies for products such as electronic waste can be regulated - a scheme which was to start in 2011:

(1)   What is the timetable for the Product Stewardship legislation.

(2)   What is the timetable for e-waste recycling.

(3)   What expenditure has been earmarked for the e-waste scheme.

(4)   What budget allocations have been made to implement e-waste collections.

(5)   To date, what progress has been made towards implementing the scheme.

(6)   Will the e-waste scheme start in time to help recover disposed televisions, resulting from the current digital switchover.


Senator Conroy (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity) —The Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   The Product Stewardship bill is expected to be introduced into the Australian Parliament in 2011.

(2)   A consultation paper on the proposed regulation for the television and computer scheme is expected to be available for public comment in February 2011. The industry led television and computer product stewardship scheme is expected to be operational in late 2011.

(3)   The Department advises that over the period 2010-2011 to 2014-2015, there will be around $3.4 million for the National Waste Policy key direction “Taking responsibility”, for the development of a Product Stewardship framework, the development of the scheme for televisions and computers and other Product Stewardship work.

(4)   This will be an industry led scheme.

(5)   The Department initiated a joint industry-government working group in February 2010. This group has been working with stakeholders to develop the operational arrangements for the new scheme, including governance, reporting, roll-out and standards.

(6)   The scheme is expected to be operational in time to address the majority of Australia that will be affected by the digital switchover. Targeted take back events for obsolete televisions have been arranged for those areas of Australia which have already transitioned to the digital services, including regional and remote South Australia and Broken Hill.