My god what’s the drama over the plastic bags?
As I read in the Herald online the story on the plastic bag ban laws proposed by Freo Council, it seems some on the council are having a whinge over talk of the state gov knocking back the councils new law. Now if you believe the quotes “Fremantle acting Mayor Josh Wilson says the council followed good process, including consultation with business, in putting the bylaw together.”
Well if you had seen the debacles Wednesday night at SGS council meeting with the south beach issue and the signal station both involving community consultation. That would not be very reassuring, as it looks like the way both items will go for outcomes, that were never discussed or included in the that community engagement process. If you are familiar with the esplanade and J-shed they went the same way, community consultation, then a decision on an option that was never proposed in the consultation process, then a quick workshop with a very select community representation, to seal the deal. So that statement (of good process) gives little reassurance to those of us familiar to council process. Well you could ask good for who?
Now if it is true as stated that the council has great support from business, the community, residents, chamber of commerce, all being full supportive of the proposed law, then why do the council need the law past?
Brad and Josh have both stated good community agreement, business supports it, so why doesn’t the mayor just set a date for it to start, if everyone is supportive and in agreement, it would just happen, no need for a law right?
Now if it’s only the threat of fines, that makes the system (Plastic bag ban) work that would tend to say perhaps the support is not as wide spread as portrayed. A bit of Spin, nothing new to Freo.
So I suppose if Brad believes the community is solidly behind him on this, he doesn’t need a law, just ask everyone to show their support by giving up using plastic bags in their shops, if the community is behind they will accept this? As if he gets the law in place and shoppers don’t support it, all that will happen is local residents may tend to shop more in Melville, EF, Cockburn, Cott etc, bringing their plastic bags back from other suburbs, hence achieving nothing, apart from Brad further crippling Fremantle retail again.
Now personally I hope he would give this ago and though some may not believe this, I hope he succeeds. As it’s only through real community support that true changes in our daily lives, will initiatives like this succeed. If he can only do it by fining people then he has failed to make any change in our culture of waste, he’s just another enforcer with a stick as his incentive.
If other councils have to wait to see if Freo can make up its own laws, then leadership is clearly a problem for them and they can’t be that motivated to do it in the 1st place.
If Brad initiative succeeds with out the law being passed and the state government sees an appetite in the community for these initiatives they may be motivated to make such laws state wide, fixing a real problem.
Let’s face it banning plastic bags in only Fremantle with a state population of over 2 million people would achieve as much as emptying an Olympic size swimming pool with a teaspoon, while a garden hose was topping it up. That’s what we get when u have symbolism/ideology over real serious practical outcomes. It’s a lot of effort, time and expense for such a negligent outcome, if he actually gets the law passed.