Recommendation 39

A common 1300 or 1800 number be established to provide advice to all providers of NSP type services, those who distribute N&S (regardless of reason), generators of used N&S waste and other stakeholders, to obtain the broad spectrum of information necessary to ensure safe, cost-effective and legal disposal.

Suggested implementation

Current Hotline providers be requested to review the benefits of establishing a consistent service across all areas. These organisations be requested to report back with recommendations which include resource implications.

This review should also examine mechanisms for achieving consistent data collection and dissemination.

Sumamry rationale

Most States and Territories have a needle Hotline service in place. In some States more than one service exists, with both State and local government providing on call discarded N&S clean up services. The Hotline service not only provides a genuine service to the community, it is also a primary source of data on locations and numbers of discarded N&S.

In addition to the establishment of a national number, careful consideration should also be given to the promotion of this number. Based on the local government surveys, a significant number of calls in regard to inappropriately discarded N&S are made to local governments. Interestingly, a higher percentage of calls are made in those States where Needle Hotlines exist. This indicates that there is not a high level of awareness of the Hotline service.