It’s not often you get a chance to talk directly to your State Premier about something you’re passionate about. But as chance would have it, on Monday night I was able to represent my local area and attend the NSW Community Cabinet Meeting as an advocate for a container deposit scheme.
South-West Sydney may not seem like the helm of environmental campaigning, but as a local I was excited to have a chance to show Premier O’Farrell and NSW Environment Minster Robyn Parker that Liverpool residents care about plastic pollution – and what better way to do it than with our huge posters, massive mock Coca-Cola bottle and witty T-shirts!
When I arrived at the meeting, I met the wonderful Larraine – another Cash for Containers supporter and Casula local. She was able to tell Robyn Parker, the Minister for Environment and Heritage about the increasing plastic pollution in her local parks and the Georges River. Larraine told Minister Parker about the benefits she thought a container deposit scheme would bring not only to the wider environment – but also to her local community.
After years of only hearing from politicians through my television and radio speakers or on the pages of newspapers, I was incredibly enthusiastic to be able to interact with the Cabinet in person. Hundreds of other locals joined me, raising issues as diverse as roads, airports, coal seam gas – but no question got a louder cheer than when Barry O’Farrell was asked about Cash for Containers.
When asked why NSW hadn’t yet implemented the scheme – particularly as Victorian Premier Denis Napthine had recently put pressure on Premier O’Farrell to do so, the Premier responded that he was “open minded”. Despite his non-committal response, I believe that years of campaigning from organisations and members of the community will pay off, and this highly popular and beneficial program will be put in place. After all, it makes cents.