CITY of Vincent is again pursuing a plastic bag ban, but one councillor believes it should not be up to local governments to implement it.
Mayor Emma Cole’s motion at last night’s council meeting to support an in principle ban on single use non-compostable plastic bags, notify the Environment and Local Government Ministers of its position and to urge a statewide ban was passed unanimously.
The move comes days after the Town of East Fremantle council introduced the Town of East Fremantle Plastic Bag Reduction Local Law 2017, which now awaits approval by the State Government.
Vincent first took a stance against plastic bags in 2012 under former mayor Alannah MacTiernan, and the City of Fremantle attempted a ban in 2013 and 2015 but was stalled by a lack of support from the former State Government.
Vincent will investigate the cost, consequences and a way forward on a ban once Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation has established a position on the Town of East Fremantle or City of Fremantle ‘Plastic Bag Reduction Local Law’.
Councillor Joshua Topelberg said he supported the motion, but felt it was the State Government’s responsibility to pursue the issue.
“It is not our job to be doing something that the State Government should show leadership on,” he said.
“I support this but it is an unnecessary burden for local government; this should be a state law.”
Ms Cole said she worded the motion to avoid cost blowouts for Vincent.
“The motion was designed to not drain Vincent resources,” she said.
“It is important for Vincent to show clear support for a state ban but also make own ban if we have to.”
Cr Jonathan Hallett took the opportunity to make his first speech during council since being voted in February to support the motion.
“I thank the Mayor for progressing this motion; it has been five years since Vincent first supported a ban which was quashed by the former State Government,” he said.
He said six months in to the South Australia ban in 2013, about 200 million bags were stopped from going to landfills.