Environment Protection Amendment (Banning Plastic Bags, Packaging and Microbeads) Bill 2016

I rise to speak about the inquiry into the Environment Protection Amendment (Banning Plastic Bags, Packaging and Microbeads) Bill 2016...
Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 3:00pm
Speaker:
Samantha Dunn

Ms DUNN (Eastern Metropolitan) — I rise to speak about the inquiry into the Environment Protection Amendment (Banning Plastic Bags, Packaging and Microbeads) Bill 2016. It is notable that the day that this report is being tabled is in fact World Oceans Day, a day that seeks to honour, protect and conserve our oceans and recognise how very important they are. Of course our oceans are starting to choke under the weight of plastic, and certainly that includes the single-use plastic bag. That issue was highlighted as part of this inquiry process. I certainly commend my colleague Ms Springle for introducing this bill to the house. It is an important issue, and an important mechanism outlined in the bill is to stop pollution at the source, which is plastic bags, packaging and of course microbeads. I think what struck me as part of the hearings into this particular bill was the science around the amount of plastics not only entering our oceans but also entering our food chain. That is very alarming. I am also concerned about the reliance on waiting for a national approach to a voluntary scheme. I am not satisfied that that is the best way to get the serious outcomes we need on what is a very serious issue.

I thank my committee members, particularly those who attended hearings with me. I also thank the staff of the secretariat of this committee, who have a lot on their plate but once again have done very well in preparing this report. I look forward to a time when we cannot get single-use plastic bags and when we say no to plastic packaging and microbeads, especially as this is World Oceans Day.

Motion agreed to.