The wheelie-bin war

One of the hottest issues in the upcoming election in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is the provision of wheelie-bins to all residents for the containment and removal of ‘green’ garden waste.

The issue goes back a long way and has been contentious since the then ACT Labor government trialled it twelve years ago in some areas of the ACT. They claimed, after a few months trial, that it was too expensive and abandoned the service. This caused a lot of complaints as many people in the ACT wanted the service.

During the campaign for the last ACT election four years ago, the Liberal Opposition promised to reintroduce the ‘green’ bin service and provide it free to all households in the ACT. The then Labor government argued that the Liberal costing for the service was in error as their own previous trial had shown that the service was too expensive. Labor won the election by a very narrow margin and nothing more was heard about ‘green’ bins.

With another election approaching the issue has heated up again. The Liberal Leader of the Opposition has again promised a free ‘green’ wheelie-bin service to all residents of the ACT.

The current ACT Labor government has responded to the challenge by introducing a ‘trial period’ of ‘green’ bins in a few selected areas. The Minister for Local Services said “People who want to use the service will pay $50 for the ‘green’ wheelie-bin. Those people who don’t want it won’t have to pay.” She went on to say “Our service is better than the Liberal proposal because we will give residents the choice of whether to use the service or not. “

The Liberal leader responded by pointing out what he called ‘the flaws in the Labor argument’. He said “The Liberal scheme will be free to all residents. No-one will have to pay for the bins.” He added that the Labor government’s scheme is only for ‘a trial period’, which means that they can cancel it whenever they wish. “Ours is a free permanent service.” he pointed out. “Also, residents will have a choice with our scheme. If they don’t want to use the ‘green’ bin then they don’t have to. There won’t be a law making it compulsory.” “People can just leave the bin in their garage, unused, if they don’t want to use it.” he  went on to say.

What will be the next step and challenge? With election day approaching, all residents of the ACT are agog waiting for answers as the wheelie-bin war hots up: It is a common topic of discussion in every street corner cafe in the state. Who will win? Will common sense prevail? Or will the war hot up even more?

The future fate of the ACT rests on the outcome. Will we have ‘green’ wheelie-bins or not? The people of the ACT want to know the answer to this vital question.

You would think that, with the state of the economy and other issues, politicians would have more important things to fight over than green wheelie-bins, but it seems not.

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