ROSS WALKER, PRESIDENT
Two months ago I reported that a proposed seniors housing development in Malton Rd Beecroft had ended up in the Land and Environment Court. The proposed development has now been approved only after the disabled access to the local services had been rigorously analysed in Court. Residents worked with Hornsby Council town planning staff in clarifying the interpretation of the relevant State planning legislation under which the development was determined. It was a learning curve for the residents involved but the Court process also benefited our Council as the Court’s determination provided Council with a clearer interpretation of how the legislation is applied.
The Bag Free Beecroft campaigners celebrated their first anniversary on the 9th of June. As the photograph shows, it was a celebratory event, including delicious homemade birthday cakes. In Beecroft’s shopping centre I have seen people’s behaviour changing over the 12 months. The campaign is working.
As most of you know, Coles and Woolies are now banning single use plastic bags throughout all their stores in NSW. Welcome news for those of us who care about our environment. But there was the predictable outcry from some about what do we do with our household rubbish now that we have lost our supply of kitchen bin liners. It all centres around changing people’s behaviour.
In hindsight the plastic bag ban should have come in years ago. Many Australian state governments have already banned plastic shopping bags outright. It will happen in NSW as well, but I expect it will be driven at the local community level, similar to what happened at Beecroft and other communities across the state.
Did you notice how quickly the retailers started supplying compostable bags on the shelves? It tells me retailers will adapt when required and customers will follow suit. I’m even receiving my overseas magazines in biodegradable ‘plastic’ sleeves made from corn or potato starch. The solutions are out there for society to use.
Of course banning plastic shopping bags is not the end of the campaign. Anyone who cares about our natural environment must be concerned about the future. We only have one planet and we can’t leave it in a poorer state than we found it. Over my lifetime I have seen environmentally harmful products such as chemicals and oil spills in Australia and globally, tightly regulated, often with stringent clean up procedures. Plastics in some form are here to stay. Whether we make disposable plastics biodegradable or recycle end products, we must get serious about how we manage our plastic pollution, and it starts with our local community.
If you want to find out what is happening in Beecroft and Cheltenham, go to our website bcct2119.com.au. We also have our regular E-news that anyone can subscribe to and also an active Facebook page at https://fb.me/2119civictrust. You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.