2 December 2019

Probing the polls: plastic bags, recycling rubbish and the Liberal leadership

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Woolworths is initiating a reusable containers trial nationally. Photo: File.

Conservation-minded Canberrans appear to be broadly in favour of a proposal for reusable containers to reduce waste.

The plan is part of a national initiative by grocery giant Woolworths. Commonly used products such as washing detergent, shampoo, juice or ice cream will be sold in customised, brand-specific, durable packaging that is delivered in a reusable shipping tote.

When finished, the empty containers are picked up from home or can be dropped back at a nearby Woolworths store before being cleaned, refilled and reused – creating a circular shopping system.

The scheme, called Loop, will be trialled in supermarkets before a full launch in 2021.

And it seems local consumers like the plan. We asked whether you would be in favour of a national trial to replace single-use plastic packaging with reusable containers and would you buy these products?

A total of 1,254 votes were recorded for this poll. Your choices were Yes, it’s about time the major supermarkets came to the party on single-use plastics, and this option received a whopping 1070 votes. Alternatively, you could vote No, it sounds too complicated and inconvenient, but this option attracted just 271 votes.

Next, we’re tackling reports of division inside the ACT Liberal Opposition. Party members and MLAs continue to publicly dismiss speculation about the current leader Alistair Coe and the likelihood that he will lead the party to next year’s election.

MLA Elizabeth Lee

MLA Elizabeth Lee says she is not interested in the Liberal leadership. Photo: File.

High profile MLAs Elizabeth Lee and Mark Parton have both dismissed suggestions that they are more palatable to the generally progressive ACT electorate.

Elizabeth Lee tweeted that she was absolutely committed to bringing about a Canberra Liberals government in 2020 under the leadership of Alistair Coe and his deputy Nicole Lawder.

Ms Lee, who has recently had a baby, was considered to be the best bet to replace Mr Coe and, together with Guilia Jones, provide a more appealing team (as in, less right-wing), to go into the October election.

Former radio personality Mr Parton has previously been considered a potential leader but sources say he doesn’t want the job and may not be committed long term to the Assembly anyway.

But reports persist nevertheless that the party is internally divided over Mr Coe and that the long-running division between the party room’s politics and the actual ACT Liberal vote may be coming to a head. What do you think?

Internal leadership strife is being reported in the Opposition. Is Alistair Coe the right person to lead the Libs to the next election?

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Mike of Canberra4:42 pm 03 Dec 19

So Coe’s not “progressive” enough? What’s so progressive about the current government? Is it:
a) their crippling rates, taxes and charges that are driving people across the border to, presumably, “less progressive NSW?
b) the drive to fill green spaces in Canberra with ugly unit developments?
c) pursuant to (b), the move to build on land in Molonglo previously set aside for “green space” while not releasing available new land further out? or
d) the move to inconvenience large numbers of people on the northside by doing away with large numbers of flexible bus services due to the presence of one inflexible tram service?

You Genevieve and Canberrans more generally need to get over yourselves and accept that, whether it be with Coe or someone else, we badly need change next year and should be prepared to embrace that change.

Will they put Canberra back on coal? Wouldn’t be a truly hard Right Jurassic party if they don’t.

We have already seen what they will be like just by looking at Zed and how he votes in the senate (quite frightening). Coe will be no different.

The problem with the Liberals at the moment is Coe. He is seen as Tony Abbott lite and that image is poison in a place like Canberra. People have the impression that the Liberals are all about cutbacks, job losses, cutting benefits and taking away our concessions and free stuff.

That image might be popular with the IPA, the shock jocks and Murdoch newspapers but not in the wider community and especially not in a place like Canberra. Coe also campaigned against same sex marriage in the territory which had the highest Yes vote in Australia.

The thing which strikes me most about him is that he just doesn’t seem to have a “Canberra” image about him. He seems to be too young and immature and gives the impression he is playing in the sandpit by himself rather than mixing it with the big boys.

Until the Liberals can get a leader who is more middle of the road and mainstream and able to reach out to a largely left wing electorate like Kate Carnell was able to do they’ll never be able to win government in the ACT.

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