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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4770 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

report to Ministers on progress and undertake a vigorous program to encourage more retailers to join the scheme.".

MR CORNWELL (10.32): I am sorry that the Chief Minister ended on such an aggressive note because, frankly, I feel that the motion and the amendment probably complement each other. I do not have a problem with either of them. I rise to support Mrs Dunne's motion, and I will come to the Chief Minister's amendment shortly.

I do not think anybody in this chamber would be against the idea of reducing the use of plastic bags. I personally think there are probably fewer plastic bags lying around now than we used to see but the fact is that even one or two are offensive to the eye. I sometimes think that people are more aware now of the problem that plastic bags can cause and that those we might see blowing around are probably just escapees, if I can put it that way.

As I say, I do not see anything wrong with any of the parts of Mrs Dunne's motion. Part (2) talks about calling on the government to ensure that there are plastic bag recycling drop-off points. I am aware, and I think the Chief Minister mentioned this, that Woolworths have a recycling area at most of their outlets. However, the use of those outlets, I believe, is very much reliant upon part (3) of Mrs Dunne's motion, which calls on the government to embark on an education awareness campaign so that these matters, which are very easy to forget, can be brought to the attention of the community.

Part (4) calls on the government to work with business and encourage more consumer choice. There are, in fact, a number of fairly active groups. I know my wife now uses other bags-I do not know whether they are calico bags-for shopping. She has a few friends who make these bags and they sell them at fetes and such like. There are opportunities for doing this and, of course, there are opportunities for involving more and more of the community. The fifth part of the motion calls on the government to work with business and to trial a plastic bag levy in Canberra. Again, I do not see a great problem with that.

As I have said, I think Mr Stanhope's amendment can complement Mrs Dunne's motion. There are statements of fact to achieve goals but I must say that I find it a little difficult to know whether we are going to be able to measure some of the goals. But, never mind, it is a good thing to put this together.

The only doubt I have is in relation to paragraph (g) of Mr Stanhope's amendment which calls for "the introduction by retailers of a transparent and independent auditing process". This seems to me to be very bureaucratic and I wonder again whether it can be done efficiently. But I do not think that detracts in any way from what Mr Stanhope has said about the activities of the states and the Commonwealth in trying to overcome this wretched blight; neither do I think for a moment that it negates Mrs Dunne's motion. As I say, I believe that the motion and the amendment complement each other.

MRS DUNNE (10.36): I welcome the wording of the Chief Minister's amendment rather than its intention. I think that it is unfortunate that on a regular basis on private members day the government comes in here and tries to gut the motions put forward by members of the opposition and the crossbenchers. It is almost as if, if the government does not have the idea, it is not a valid idea. It bespeaks a certain amount of hubris that

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