The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (15:13): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Human Services, representing the Minister for Environment and Water, a question about single-use plastics.
The Hon. J.A. DARLEY: The government has announced their intention to introduce legislation to phase out single-use plastics and other single-use items. I understand that products such as plastic straws, plastic cutlery and plastic stirrers are the first items to be banned upon commencement of the legislation. Other single-use items, such as thicker plastic bags, will be dealt with in the future, after further consideration by a task force. Given the overwhelming support received from the community and industry for action to be taken on single-use plastic items, why is the government delaying taking action on plastic bags over 35 microns in thickness? Can the minister advise whether the government is considering banning all plastic bags, regardless of thickness?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (15:15): I thank the honourable member for his question. I have to say that I have noticed that the initiative of banning single-use plastics has been very well supported, particularly I think—and I am talking aloud here, which is always dangerous for a minister—by a lot of women, who are very active in the space of recycling and reuse. I know a lot of people who seek, as individuals, to phase out their use through various means, in particular with things like reusable grocery bags that you can purchase, and some of the supermarkets have places where we can recycle some of those single-use soft plastics items, which can then be turned into play equipment.
As recently as when we opened the new site Tika Turka on Gilbert Street, we found that their bike racks are made from recycled soft plastics. I am not aware of the details of the honourable member's particular questions, but I will take those to the responsible minister and seek a response and bring it back to the chamber.
The Hon. K.J. Maher interjecting:
The PRESIDENT: Leader of the Opposition, have you finished your conversation? The Hon. Mr Ngo.