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October 16, 2019

Illawarra State Labor MPs have challenged Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, Member for South Coast, Shelley Hancock and Member for Heathcote, Lee Evans to support their local communities and vote to back a ban on single-use plastic bags.


Single-use plastic bags have been banned already in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, ACT and the NT, with Victoria set to follow next month.


Supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles voluntarily phased out single-use bags in favour of reusable ones in their NSW stores last year.


The Legislative Council voted to support a NSW Labor Bill – its third attempt – to introduce laws to ban the single-use plastic bag a fortnight ago.


The Minister for Environment and Energy, Matt Kean, has proposed releasing a discussion paper on the problems caused by single-use plastic bags rather than support NSW Labor’s successful Bill when it comes up for debate later this week.


Member for Keira, Ryan Park said that local Liberal Members of Parliament representing the communities of Kiama, South Coast and Heathcote had to support the single use plastic ban proposed by NSW Labor.


“NSW is the only jurisdiction left in the country which hasn’t yet introduced this ban. 


“The Members for Kiama, South Coast and Heathcote, Gareth Ward, Shelley Hancock and Lee Evans, should be representing their local communities and voting in support of what their local communities want”, he said.


Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully said, “These plastic bags are killing our marine wildlife and polluting our waterways.


“We should be joining other states and territories across Australia and my message to Government members is: stop standing in the way of progress, stop being stubborn and just join us to ban the single-use plastic bag.”


Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson said, “People who share our concerns about this issue should be phoning and emailing Gareth Ward, Shelley Hancock and Lee Evans.


“People in Kiama, South Coast and Heathcote who care about the environment should be making sure their local MPs stand with their community on the floor of the NSW Parliament”, she said.