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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 3320 ..

The government of the ACT should also be accountable for their decisions to an independent body such as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for all decisions made under these regulations.

Therefore we the undersigned petitioners, request the ACT Legislative Assembly to:

1. Scrutinise Development Application DA 98 4473 in a transparent and open process,

2. Ensure that due process is taken in DA 98 4473, to guarantee the interest of all members of the community is served, and

3. Amend the Land (Planning and Environment) Act and Regulations to ensure the Government is made accountable to an independent body for any and all decisions made under these provisions.

Petition received.


MS TUCKER (10.34): I present the Shopping Containers Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MS TUCKER: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this Bill is about helping people do their bit to save the environment as well as save money. It focuses on one particular environmental problem, which is the incredible waste generated each day from the plastic bags handed out freely at shops. This is not to say that this issue is more important than other issues facing the Assembly. It is just one issue which we can do something about fairly simply. It also complements the other Bills I have put forward over this year that address various aspects of the waste problem as part of helping the Government achieve its target of no waste going to landfill by 2010.

A plastic bag by itself does not seem to be much of a problem, but when you consider the amount of bags used in Australia it does become a major problem. It has been estimated that 3.6 billion plastic bags are used per year in Australia. Of these, some two billion plastic bags are thrown away after a single use. A large supermarket gives away up to half a million plastic bags per year. Thirty-five thousand tonnes of HDPE film is used to make plastic bags each year, of which 25,000 tonnes is imported, adding to our foreign debt. Less than one per cent of plastic bags are recycled, because there are no community-wide recycling schemes for them, apart from some private arrangements made by individual supermarket chains to receive used bags.

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