Bag ban attempt gets bagged

The law had been debated numerous times, including at a State Government Parliamentary Commission and the Legislative Assembly with no outcome before being moved on for discussion in the Legislative Council.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the cause of much of the debate was the proposed law’s Clause 6, which stated retailers were required to charge for bags distributed through them, but said it was something the city could have been open to amending or deleting if it meant the law could be approved.

The item came up before the Legislative Council last Tuesday where it was knocked back, with MLC Helen Morton stating it could set a precedent for other local governments creating similar laws not necessarily in a uniform matter.

Dr Pettitt said the city was disappointed with the result.

‘We’re obviously feeling pretty deflated that the law didn’t get approved after a lot of hard work to get to this point,’ he said.

‘The city will now have to assess the options we have moving forward, including the potential to redraft and resubmit the local law to remove clause 6 altogether.

‘We will also be looking at other ways to reduce plastic waste in Fremantle which may include developing advocacy strategies with other local government organisations and implementing some voluntary community initiatives.’

Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk, who was vocal in her support of the proposed law, said the proposed law had been a perfect opportunity to trial a different way of influencing consumer habits.

‘I believe there is strong community support for efforts to reduce the millions of plastic bags which are used once and end up as landfill and litter in parks, on roads and in waterways,’ she said.

‘The City of Fremantle should be commended for their initiative to put in place a system which would limit single-use plastic bags and serve as an ideal opportunity to trial such a ban in WA.’