Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith said she was delighted with the announcement that Woolworths and Coles supermarkets will start to phase out single-use plastic bags in NSW over the next 12 months.
“This is a great decision for our environment and I congratulate the supermarkets on taking action themselves and recognising that consumers are ready for this change and in many cases demanding it,” said Ms Smith.
“It’s particularly apt that this announcement comes during Plastic Free July, where the public is challenged to reduce their consumption of throw away plastics – by bringing their own bags to supermarkets, bringing their own cups for takeaway coffee or refusing plastic straws or cutlery when eating on the go.”
“I have written to NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton to ask when single use lightweight plastic bags will be banned but I am glad to see that businesses such as these two big supermarkets haven’t waited for the NSW Government to get its act together."
The recent TV program The War on Waste (ABC) was a real eye-opener for many people in Australia about how disposable plastics are polluting our environment.
Here in the Ballina - Byron region, while the statistics in the show were still shocking, we were already aware of the damage that plastic does in our landscape and ocean.
That’s because the Plastic Free July movement has taken off in this electorate and the Byron Shire Council is fully behind helping retailers phase out plastic shopping bags. Take a look at http://plasticfreebyron.com for ideas for retailers.
Tamara Smith, MP for Ballina today welcomed news from the Public Accounts Committee that it would be extending its deadline for public submissions on its health care inquiry to 31 July 2017.
“I was pleased to receive a letter from the chair of the Public Accounts Committee stating that the Management of Health Care Services in NSW Inquiry will extend its deadline from the end of this month until the end of July, to enable more people in the Northern Rivers Region to make submissions,” said Ms Smith.
Member for Ballina Tamara Smith is encouraging community and not-for-profit groups and local councils to apply for funding requests through the 2017 Community Building Partnership (CBP) program.
Surf Life Saving Far North Coast Branch received a grant for a new surf rescue emergency response vehicle from last year's CBP funding. /Photo credit Nicole Ainsworth
CBP grants are available annually for community infrastructure projects that deliver positive social, environmental and recreational outcomes. Through the program, the NSW Government ensures funding is available to support organisations that think first-and-foremost about the needs of locals.