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    Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Palaszczuk Government praises Cairns Council for removing plastic straws

    Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Friday, April 13, 2018

    Palaszczuk Government praises Cairns Council for removing plastic straws

    Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch has praised Cairns Regional Council for taking steps to remove plastic straws and other single-use plastics from their venues and operations, and says the Council is setting a great example for the rest of Queensland.

    “This week councillors in Cairns have voted to lead the way towards reducing the environmental impacts from plastic pollution,” Ms Enoch said.

    “It is a visionary decision and one I support wholeheartedly on behalf of the Palaszczuk Government and our efforts to drastically reduce the amount of plastic entering the environment.

    “Cairns Regional Council is one of the first in Australia to take affirmative action and is tapping into public sentiment that the time has come to get serious about plastic pollution.”

    Ms Enoch, who was in Cairns this week and met with Mayor Bob Manning, said she hoped Cairns Regional Council’s decision would inspire other local councils across the state to follow suit.

    “It is also a decision that I am sure will receive public support,” she said.

    “Cairns Regional Council is rightly concerned about the impact disposable plastics have on sea life and coral on the Great Barrier Reef and its decision will have a lasting positive impact on the local environment.”

    Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said Council’s move came on the back of a campaign by 10-year-old Cairns girl Molly Steer, who recently received the 2018 Cairns Young Woman of the Year award.

    “Molly has gained great traction with her ‘Straw No More’ campaign,” Cr Manning said.

    “She has brought this very serious issue to our attention through the eyes of a young resident who sees herself as a future custodian of our environment.

    “As the present custodians, we owe her the opportunity to grow up with the same pristine natural wonders that we enjoyed as children.”

    Ms Enoch said Cairns Regional Council’s decision was timely, coming just 11 weeks before the Palaszczuk Government’s state-wide ban on single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags, effective on July 1, and the Government’s container refund scheme.

    “Close to one billion single-use lightweight plastic bags are used in Queensland every year and our plastic bag ban will help reduce the amount of plastic that goes into landfill,” Minister Enoch said.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is determined to lead the way in plastic pollution reduction and it’s pleasing to see councils coming up with solutions to also help reduce plastic in their local areas.

    “I encourage other Queensland councils to get involved and develop similar strategies to help reduce the amount of plastic we use in Queensland and work towards a better future for our state.”

     

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