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Monday, 13 October 2008
Page: 5861

Senator Milne asked the Minister representing the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, upon notice, on 14 July 2008

(1)   Does the department have a policy regarding the use of remanufactured printer products as opposed to buying new ones; if so, does the department assess the cost and re-useability of the product as part of its decision making in regard to the policy.

(2)   Does the department have a policy directive to use remanufactured printer products and, by doing so, lower the balance of payments through reducing imports.

(3)   What environmental standard has the department put in place in regard to the disposal of printer cartridges.

(4)   Is the Minster aware that several of the printer companies are now putting chips in printer cartridges so that they cannot be re-used.

(5)   Does the department have any contractual arrangements with Lexmark or Epson; if so, is the department party to any ‘Prebate’ program.

(6)   Does the department know what happens to the printer cartridges when they are empty.

(7)   With whom does the department hold a printer supply contract and what are the conditions of the contract.

(8)   How much does the department spend on printer cartridges each financial year.

(9)   Does the department use Planet Ark to recycle cartridges.

(10)   Does the department use foreign companies such as Corporate Express when purchasing printer cartridges.

Senator Sherry (Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law) —The Minister for Finance and Deregulation has supplied the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   No.

(2)   No.

(3)   The department utilises the Planet Ark disposal program.

(4)   I understand that the department is aware that some printer companies build microchips into their printer cartridges to reduce the use of third-party or refilled cartridges. The advice is that these cartridges can be reused by returning them to the original manufacturer.

(5)   No. The department does not have any contractual arrangements with Lexmark or Epson, in relation to the provision of printer cartridges.

(6)   The department disposes of empty printer cartridges through the Planet Ark disposal program.

(7)   The department has established a non-exclusive “IT Peripherals” panel arrangement through which printers are purchased from the various suppliers on the panel. There is also a non-exclusive stationery supply contract with OfficeMax through which toner and print cartridges are purchased.

(8)   The department spent $312,356.63 in the 2007-08 financial year on printer cartridges and toner.

(9)   Yes.

(10)   The department’s printer cartridge supplier (OfficeMax) sources all products from local distributors to ensure that cartridges meet Australian Industry Standards. OfficeMax Australia Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US based OfficeMax Incorporated.