Council pushes to ban the bag
WHITSUNDAY Regional Council has thrown its weight behind a state-wide ban of single use plastic bags.
At the council’s ordinary meeting in Bowen, councillors unanimously agreed to submit a policy motion to the Local Government Association of Queensland for inclusion at its coming conference in October.
The council also resolved to meet with the State Government Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Steven Miles, and voice support for a ban on plastic bags.
Though councillors showed their support for the “ban the bag” campaign, Division 6 councillor Mike Brunker did draw attention to the fact that no precedent had been set by other local governments and he said a decision to ban the bag could be overturned by the State Government.
“This hasn’t happened anywhere else and there is a fair process to go through,” he said.
Mayor Andrew Willcox retorted by declaring the council’s proactivity on the issue.
“People have got to understand that we have to work within the law (but) we are doing everything we can possible,” Cr Willcox said.
“If we did decide to implement a local law to inhibit the use of plastic bags, council would need to seek specialised legal assistance and also consult with the community prior to taking action.”
Cr Jan Clifford addressed the meeting to say she had spoken with the manager of one of the local Woolworths stores who told her he would “throw a party” if plastic bags were banned.
“They currently go through a pallet a month,” she said.
“I encourage everybody to support this.
“We are a Reef Guardian council… and I think we need to stand up here.”
It has been estimated that approximately 180,000 plastic bags are used in the Whitsundays area each week.
STANDING UP: Cr Jan Clifford addresses the council on the banning of plastic bags.