Plastic bag law all at sea

THE City of Fremantle�s push for a plastic bag-free city could hit a snag after a North Metropolitan MLC tabled a notice of motion to disallow the local law.

The Plastic Bag Local Law looks to stop retailers providing single-use, non-biodegradable plastic bags to customers, but it has had a tumultuous run through WA parliament, which blocked it in 2013.

Liberal MLC Peter Katsambanis said he tabled the disallowance because the message back in 2013 was that a statewide coordinated approach would be the best way to introduce plastic bag laws.

�This would avoid ad hoc decisions and the potential for conflicting laws in neighbouring suburbs which would only lead to confusion for consumers and costly red tape for small business owners,� he said.

�Since I moved the disallowance motion in parliament I have received many supportive telephone calls and emails from small business owners, residents and ratepayers in Fremantle.

�It is disappointing that the City of Fremantle has chosen to thumb its nose at parliament and waste ratepayers money by again trying to go it alone on this issue.�

Acting mayor Josh Wilson said the city was disappointed at the move.

�We are really disappointed and struggle to understand why the State Government would look at blocking a local law that is trying to pioneer a sensible approach to waste reduction and environmental protection,� he said.

�We�ve followed good process, including consultation with both the wider and business community, and have adjusted the local law in response to issues involved in the first version.

�There are several other local government authorities, both in WA and in other parts of the country, who are eagerly awaiting the outcome before they move to implement similar laws.�

History of Plastic Bag Law

July 2008: Then mayor Peter Tagliaferri calls for a plastic bag phase out. Wants Freo to be plastic bag free by the end of the year.

October 2011: Plastic Free Fremantle community group continue the campaign.

March 2012: City firsts announces plan for plastic bag local law.

July 2012: Council passes draft local law.

November 2013: Legislative council blocks local law.

July 2014: Council passes amended draft local law