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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 October 2018) . . Page.. 4568 ..


whether her pleas are falling on deaf ears or if she at least believes that she is not being heard by the relevant minister.

Canberrans are proud stewards of our environment, and I am confident that with ongoing community consultation and discussion we will develop appropriate, affordable and practical strategies to deal with the inevitable waste that comes from a modern society.

I have just noticed that an amendment has been circulated by Mr Rattenbury. To ensure that I do not have to speak again, I will say briefly that, whilst it is a good thing that we should all look at ways of reducing single-use plastic and other harmful disposable products, just as we would never assume to tell the Greens how to run their campaigns, I do think that campaigns need to be run by the parties, and it is up to each party to ensure that they take responsibility to ensure that no harmful waste goes into our environment.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Corrections and Justice Health, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety and Minister for Mental Health) (3.43): Madam Assistant Speaker Orr, the Greens support the motion that you have brought forward today. We appreciate the opportunity to talk about this.

I did enjoy listening to the series of examples you were able to describe of people who have made efforts to ensure that their events are plastic free. It is quite an inspiring list, and it shows what is possible when you really set your mind to it, think a little outside the square and seek to engage your patrons. It demonstrates that there is a real community appetite for people to be able to go to these events and not have to have single-use plastics, that people appreciate having an alternative. The examples that were described underline the fact that people can take up these measures quite well if they are given the opportunity to do so.

Plastic waste has been an issue that the Greens have campaigned on since our party formed. Members may know that the ACT’s plastic bag ban came about because of an item in the Greens-Labor parliamentary agreement. So, too, did the street-level recycling bins in town centres to collect recyclable waste, the installation of drinking fountains to replace the use of plastic bottles, and the container deposit scheme that has recently gotten underway. All of these initiatives have come from our various parliamentary agreements, and I am glad that each has been able to be put in place. Sometimes it has taken a little while to get to them, but each of them is a step forward, each of them begins to redefine the paradigm and talk about a different future being possible, and each of them demonstrates what can be done.

Members will recall that just last month Ms Le Couteur introduced a matter of public importance on single-use plastics to the Assembly. In it, she called for a plastic-free ACT. I do not intend to repeat all of Ms Le Couteur’s comments; I know she is about to speak herself. But she did say that the government should be setting phase-out dates for various plastic items so that in four or five years from now, we will not be using them anymore. It is important that we set these goals, that we give time for the


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