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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 28 October 2010) . . Page.. 5246 ..

protection officers carrying out a review on site and therefore a reduction in costs to industry, while costs to the government would be reduced through less publishing of notices.

This bill will lighten the regulatory burden on business and industry without compromising the need to safeguard the environment; it simply introduces more appropriate regulation.

The bill also makes the ACT legislation consistent with the New South Wales Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, which requires the regulatory authority to review each licence at intervals not exceeding five years after the issue of the licence.

The bill provides consistency for business working within both jurisdictions, essentially facilitating business cross-border activity. Furthermore, the bill is consistent with the COAG agenda promoting national harmonisation of environmental regulation.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Bill 2010

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.44): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This legislation will ban plastic shopping bags in the ACT, building on the government’s and the community’s successful work in waste management and introducing further protection for our environment. Good waste management is fundamental to creating a sustainable city.

Mr Speaker, there is no doubting that plastic bags are incredibly convenient. We all know that. But we have to look at the flip side. These bags are made from a non-renewable resource and most eventually find their way into a landfill. On average, an Australian will use 345 plastic bags per year, generating landfill waste that will take more than 50 generations to decompose, or take about 1,000 years.

That is why the government is introducing legislation to ban lightweight plastic shopping bags, the type usually provided at the supermarket counter—that is, single-use, lightweight polyethylene plastic bags of less than 35 microns in thickness. The ban approach has been adopted by the government in recognition of the

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