Media Releases

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October 24, 2019

The Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward MP, and the Member for South Coast, Shelley
Hancock MP, today put petty politics before the people of the Illawarra and South
Coast when they voted against a Bill to ban single-use plastic bags in New South

At midday today, NSW Labor’s bill to ban single-use plastic bags, was defeated in a
vote in the NSW Lower House.

The Bill, supported by Illawarra Labor MP’s, Ryan Park, Paul Scully and Anna Watson,
was voted down by Members of the NSW Liberals and Nationals: 37 Ayes to 48 Noes.

Introduced to the NSW Legislative Council on 6 June 2019, the Plastic Shopping Bags
(Prohibition on Supply by Retailers) Bill 2019, would have, if passed, prohibited
retailed in New South Wales from supplying thin, single-use plastic shopping bags to
their customers.

The Bill passed the Upper House on 26 September 2019 and was sent to the
Legislative Assembly for debate.

New South Wales remains the only state or territory in Australia that hasn’t banned
single-use plastic bags.

Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson said: “Today Gareth and Shelley had an
opportunity to make a real difference, to put the environment first, and to represent
their communities. They chose not to.”

“I can’t think of a single good reason why the Liberals chose to vote down this bill
today, but I can think of 10 million reasons why they should have supported it. That’s
because every day 10 million plastic bags are being used in Australia.”

“I’m disappointed the NSW Liberals are still putting themselves first, at the expense of our state’s environment and citizens.”

Member for Keira, Ryan Park said “It beggars belief that Gareth and Shelley have not supported a ban on single use plastic bags and voted against this Bill.

Mr Park added “I am extremely disappointed that this Bill was not supported. This is a step backwards for NSW.

Single-use disposable plastic bags present an insidious threat to our environment and marine life. Today, was an opportunity to create change, unfortunately NSW will remain the last State in Australia to ban single use plastic bags” Mr Park 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 it’s a real shame that Government members stood in the way of progress and continue to stubbornly resist following the rest of the country.”