State politicians should not prevent local law on plastic bags

Greens Member for South Metropolitan Lynn MacLaren MLC has blasted Liberal, Nationals and Shooters and Fishers party MPs for moving to disallow a City of Fremantle plan to introduce a local law that would ban the non-biodegradable single use plastic bags. 

“This is a case of complete over-reach,” Ms MacLaren said.

“The City of Fremantle is legally entitled to respond to a campaign by its electors to introduce this local law – and there is nothing to justify State Parliamentarians disallowing it on what are purely ideological and political grounds.

“This point has not only been made by the Greens, it was made by the Environment Minister in reply to letters from the Fremantle community. It was also upheld by the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, a Parliamentary committee that examines all local laws.

“The Greens and many community organisations have advocated for years for a similar ban on single-use non-biodegradable plastic bags at state and national levels but inertia on this, amongst other environmentally harmful packaging practices, has prevailed.

“Change for the better, particularly for the environment, often starts with the community.

“Controls on smoking and management of cats were introduced in WA first by local governments before being adopted by the State.

“Rather than enforce inertia on a universally-acknowledged environmental problem, Liberals, Nationals and Shooters and Fishers MPs should have supported this positive community initiative.”