Money War on waste: Do millions of pages of paper really need to be printed for budget 2017?

05:55  22 may  2017
05:55  22 may  2017 Source:   ABC News

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Almost 8.5 million pages are estimated to be printed for this year's federal budget , but is all that paper really necessary in the digital age?

Almost 8.5 million pages of budget material is estimated to be printed and distributed. > Topics: recycling-and- waste -management, budget , human-interest, federal-government, canberra-2600. First posted May 08, 2017 07:15:17.

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Almost 8.5 million pages are estimated to be printed for this year's federal budget , but is all that paper really necessary in the digital age?

Glossy booklets, bills and budget papers are being printed en masse ahead of Tuesday's federal budget . Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience. War on waste : Do millions of pages of paper really need to be printed for budget 2017 ?

Glossy booklets, bills and budget papers are being printed en masse ahead of Tuesday's federal budget.

Almost 8.5 million pages of budget material is estimated to be printed and distributed.

In recent years, Treasury has adopted measures to reduce the quantity of budget papers but without a specific target.

Sustainability advocate Professor Stuart White said demand for printed copies of the budget needed to change.

"There's absolutely no need for all of that printing," he said.

Professor White is director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology in Sydney.

"There's a history there and often people refer back to conventions," he said.

"All that printing does seem a bit of an anachronism.

"We have these habits that have happened over the years and they've outlived their usefulness."

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Access denied for your country. City budget presentation well worth the “ waste ”.

As part of an effort to reduce the total printed material, documentation will be supplied on USB and via wi-fi connection for downloading in the various media and stakeholder lock-ups in Parliament House.

More than 8 million pages are expected to be printed. © Lucy Barbour/ABC News More than 8 million pages are expected to be printed. Reduction in printing 'overdue'

A Treasury spokesperson said overall printing totals were driven by demand from organisations right across the country.

Professor White said a more drastic reduction in printing of budget material was overdue.

"We need to move towards resource productivity targets, similar to the energy productivity targets that the Government has signed onto.

"There is a strong environmental impact, there's water impact and energy impact that's associated with the production of paper.

"The more paper we have to push through even the recycling economy, the more energy, water and other materials are used.

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"The more we can reduce that, the better."

Professor White said it would be unrealistic to expect that the federal budget be exclusively digital.

"Obviously if you have people who are less technically sophisticated, we don't want to decrease the digital divide by only having things online," he said.

"But on the whole, the kind of people who are already consuming the information in budget documents are already tech savvy."

What pages are printed?

Bills

505,560

Budget papers

3,912,720

Explanatory memo

81,000

Glossy booklets (4)

351,200

Overview glossy

189,200

PAES – Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements

4,800

PBS – Portfolio Budget Statements

3,424,765

PSAES – Portfolio Supplementary Additional Estimates Statements

117,772

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