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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 September 2019) . . Page.. 3845 ..

crossing across Parkinson Street, which the community is very interested in, regardless of whether there is a car park there or not, to provide better access for those who are coming down from Stirling and other suburbs on the southern side of Weston Creek to Cooleman Court. In the discussion that I had with the Weston Creek Community Council, it was raised with me that if we did look at putting in a crossing there, we should look at making sure that there is some mechanism to slow down, particularly, young cyclists coming across the road. We will be looking at that option as well, and the treatments to improve safety around the area.

Environment—single-use plastics

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction: can you update the Assembly on the single-use plastics consultation?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Pettersson for his question. Consultation on our single-use plastics discussion paper closed at the end of July and we received significant engagement from individual community members and businesses. At the close of consultation we had 3,230 submissions including 60 from businesses, peak bodies and advocacy groups. Several pop-up information stands were held at local shops across the ACT as well as targeted community and business information sessions. It is interesting to note that South Australia, which has approximately four times the population of the ACT, received just 3,600 submissions to their public consultation on single-use plastics.

A lot of Canberrans have had their say and that shows our community’s interest in tackling single-use plastic in our community and working to phase out unnecessary and problematic plastics. Canberrans strongly hold the view that action needs to be taken on single-use plastics with transition to readily available alternatives, including plant-based products like hemp, Mr Pettersson. Canberrans also understand that a pragmatic approach may need to be taken to plastic products where no well-developed alternatives are available for consumers or businesses to transition to.

The ACT government is currently considering the detailed responses from the community and businesses. I look forward to announcing the next steps on our approach to taking action on single-use plastics that clog our landfill and end up in our environment, our waterways and our landscapes.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, what products do community and business want to see phased out?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Pettersson for the supplementary. Canberrans strongly support taking action on phasing out unnecessary and problematic single-use plastics. Along with the community consultation that took place, a government survey of ACT residents was undertaken to gauge support for various actions, with 77 per cent of Canberrans expressing definite support or probable support for banning single-use plastic straws; 71 per cent supporting banning plastic-lined takeaway coffee cups; 68 per cent supporting banning single-use plastic cutlery; and 64 per cent supporting banning single-use plastic takeaway containers.

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