Here’s the cost of our living, Newman.

My goodness, a Newman Government Minister finally proposes something wonderful and it gets knocked on the head by Newman, with rhetoric about the ‘cost of living’.

This week Queensland Government Environment Minister Andrew Powell was raising in the media the idea that the Government is starting to seriously consider a ban on plastic bags in Queensland.

When I heard about the initiative I was excited: ‘Wow. Cool! Finally!’

Now, Newman’s knocked it on the head, not only embarrassing a Minister, but embarrassing a whole state of people who care about our waterways.

The Courier-Mail story didn’t help one iota. The positive impacts of this initiative were completely spun around, with a dreadful headline and a story to boot. It’s no longer available online and I can’t find my print copy, but I remember thinking ‘Why are they giving the Government a hard time on this one … ?’

(What’s WITH The Courier-Mail these days? Now that David Fagan is no longer at the helm, are we seeing the demise of the best Murdoch newspaper in the country?)

Is Campbell Newman going to read every sensationalist headline in the paper and consider it the view of ‘the people’? The Murdoch press stopped being a gatekeeper of our democracy many moons ago. Policy by media headline, anyone?

Sure, they’ve come out now and interviewed Queensland Conservation Council’s Toby Hutcheon, but why wasn’t there a more educational focus attached to the first story?

Sorry to be my own personal version of media watch. I’ll get to my point now …

I care for vulnerable people. That’s why The Greens are pushing for the federal government to increase the Newstart allowance, but I care for the environment too and what Newman’s done this week in the name of ‘cost of living’ is absolutely gutless.

A ban on plastic bags just means people have to be more organised. Carry a plastic or reusable bag on you. If you’re a woman it’s easy – leave one in your handbag. For blokes, leave one in your car, in your office, on your bicycle. For those big grocery shops, get organised and take along a whole bundle.

Just because plastic bags are banned doesn’t mean you have to buy them every time you need one.

So don’t give me that hogwash about cost of living, Newman. And – if we really want to deconstruct the true ‘cost of living’ for plastic bags – that is, the cost of human beings living on this earth, let’s have a look at the impacts our plastics make to our environment for a moment.

This is the real cost …

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