The NSW Liberals and Nationals have voted en masse against a ban on single-use plastic bags in the NSW Parliament. A roll call of senior Liberals and Nationals – many of whom have publicly supported a ban – voted as a bloc against Labor’s bill. In a media release issued this afternoon by Kate Washington MP, Labor Shadow Minister For Environment And Heritage, it is stated that this is the fourth time that the Government has refused to support Labor’s legislation. Identified as some of those who voted against a ban on single-use plastic bags were the current Environment Minister, Matt Kean, as well as three of his predecessors and other senior MPs: Andrew Constance - Member for Bega Rob Stokes – Member for Pittwater; Mark Speakman – Member for Cronulla; Gabrielle Upton – Member for Vaucluse; Shelley Hancock – Member for South Coast; Gareth Ward – Member for Kiama; Melinda Pavey – Member for Oxley; and Victor Dominello – Member for Ryde. Ms Washington said in her release "Premier Berejiklian had an opportunity to stand with Labor and take strong and meaningful action to end plastic pollution across NSW and bring our state into line with the rest of Australia.
"Instead, the Premier and her Government squibbed their responsibility to preserve the environment and kicked the can down the road by committing to a so-called ‘plastics discussion paper’. NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay said: “This is simply a failure of leadership from the Premier and the Environment Minister.” “Today the Liberals and Nationals had an opportunity to bring NSW into line with every other state and territory across Australia and ban the bag.” “Instead, they choked. The people and environment of our state have once again been let down by a Government that doesn’t have the guts to end plastic pollution.”
The NSW Labor Shadow Minister for Environment and Heritage said: “Matt Kean and three former Liberal environment ministers have all called for single-use plastic bags to be banned.” “We know that nearly all of the Government MPs who spoke on the Bill actually support a ban, but they didn’t back that up with their vote.” “The Government’s reasoning for opposing the Bill is illogical. They could have taken this important step, like every other state and territory, and tackled other plastic pollution as well. It’s not one or the other," said Ms Washington.
Above: NSW Labor Shadow Minister for Environment and Heritage Kate Washington was recently in Batemans Bay meeting with residents wanting to see the banning of single use plastic bags in NSW