COM­MU­NITY CABI­NET COMES TO TOWN

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Troy Kippen and Sharon Small­wood

PLAS­TIC bags could be a thing of the past across Queens­land, and shop­pers would have the Whit­sun­days to thank for it.

Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives at­tend­ing the 120th Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of Queens­land con­fer­ence last week put for­ward a mo­tion to take to the State Gov­ern­ment that sin­gle use, light­weight and non-biodegrad­able plas­tic bags be banned in Queens­land.

It’s an am­bi­tious plan from the small coun­cil, but it does have some prece­dents.

The South Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment banned the bag in 2009 and the North­ern Ter­ri­tory banned it in 2011. The lat­est to ban the plas­tic bag was Tas­ma­nia in 2013.

The coun­cil wants the State Gov­ern­ment to make it an of­fence for re­tail­ers to sup­ply the bags after they’re phased out over three months. It also wants re­us­able plas­tic bags to have a thick­ness of more than 40 mi­crons.

On re­turn­ing from the con­fer­ence Mayor An­drew Will­cox said he was “elated” at the LGAQ’s re­sponse. Another res­i­dent ec­static about the news was Barb Adam­son who, with Di­vi­sion 1 councillor Jan Clif­ford, had been at the fore­front of a lo­cal Ban the Bag cam­paign. Ms Adam­son even used an im­promptu au­di­ence with Queens­land Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk at Sun­day’s Com­mu­nity Cabi­net in Proser­pine to push the ini­tia­tive fur­ther by pre­sent­ing her with a “boomerang bag”. Ms Adam­son said boomerang bags had been so suc­cess­ful in the re­gions where they’d been tri­alled that to date it had stopped nine mil­lion plas­tic bags from reach­ing land­fills. “(The Premier) told me she would def­i­nitely use it and I said ‘good be­cause now you will think about it each time, be­cause the power (to do change this) is in your hands’.”

PHOTO: JA­COB WIL­SON

Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk meets Barb Adam­son.

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