5 September 2022

Probing the polls: barrier bag bans and changing the Chief

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Chief Minister Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has vowed to fight the 2024 election. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

The ACT will be the guinea pig for Coles as it trials the country’s first ban on single-use fruit and vegetable plastic bags, but Canberrans might not be on board yet, according to last week’s poll.

From 14 September, plastic fresh produce bags will no longer be available for use in any of the 12 Coles supermarkets across the ACT. But the government says there aren’t readily available viable alternatives to soft plastics, which pollute waterways and landfill.

READ MORE Coles to trial country’s first fruit and veg plastic bag ban in the ACT

We asked, Should the ACT ban plastic fruit and vegetable bags? A total of 1132 readers voted and opinions were fairly evenly divided.

Your alternatives were to vote: No, let’s wait until we’ve got a viable alternative. This attracted 47 per cent of the total or 537 votes. Alternatively, you could choose Yes, act now and people will come along. This attracted 53 per cent of the vote, or 595 votes.

This week, we’re wondering whether you think Andrew Barr should contest the next election.

Just recently, Mr Barr confirmed he would be leading his party into the 2024 election, which will give him 10 years pushing all the buttons and pulling all the levers that make government work.

Ross Solly pointed out that running in 2024 will also make Mr Barr the longest serving Chief Minister in the history of the ACT – overtaking Jon Stanhope, who led for nine years and 188 days – and one of the longest serving leaders in Australia.

“Given the bad blood that now exists between these two former colleagues, one can’t help but think the prospect of overtaking Mr Stanhope as the longest-serving ACT leader might have acted as an extra incentive for Mr Barr to carry on,” he wrote.

“Andrew Barr says he feels reinvigorated. He certainly has an ambitious agenda in front of him and more than a few issues lurking which will require his full attention. The challenge for him will be to prove to the electorate he is still the best person for the job and is not becoming lazy and uninspired.”

The opinion piece stirred plenty of conversation among readers.

READ ALSO When will the timing be right for Andrew Barr to make a move?

Stephen Grealy echoed many when he said, “Complainers do not know how well they have it … yes, things can always be improved around the edges, but you want the Canberra Liberals, really? You have increasing Greens representation, which does influence more change, and so ’20 years of Labor’ is a misnomer.

“You live in a jurisdiction that has long understood the climate issue, has great and improving public transport, improving health care with new hospital construction underway, etc.”

Others were less convinced.

Steve Austin wasn’t happy at all: “Canberrans moving towards record debt that’s too big to ever be paid back under this Green/Labor abomination, shit roads, no police, worst hospital waiting list in Australia, 30 cars stolen every week, overrun by drug addicts and a tram that haemorrhages money that we don’t have … and triple rates for the privilege.”

Our poll question this week is:

Should Andrew Barr complete a fourth term as chief minister?

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Barr is OK.
Rattenbury should go. He’s failing badly as justice minister by actively making sure justice is not being done.

A pointless poll if an alternative is not put. I’d rather Andrew Barr over Yvette Berry who would be the anointed one. But either preferable over the current liberals…not so much Elizabeth Lee, but the nut jobs she’s still having to keep on. Rid herself of the stale long timers and she may have a chance.

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