Fraser Coast Regional Council mayor George Seymour with 10-year-old Urangan girl Iluka Clifton who presented council with a proposition to get rid of single use plastic straws at council events.
Fraser Coast Regional Council mayor George Seymour with 10-year-old Urangan girl Iluka Clifton who presented council with a proposition to get rid of single use plastic straws at council events.

ACTIVIST: Meet the girl who swayed council on plastic straws

INSPIRED by the words of an eloquent and confident 10-year-old, Fraser Coast Regional Council could join business owners like The Ibis Next Door's Deeanne McGrouther, pictured below, in phasing out single-use plastic straws.

Urangan resident Iluka Clifton spoke during the public participation session during the monthly council meeting today.

Armed with a bag of 65 plastic straws she had collected from around her suburb and a poster also made from the waste collected, Iluka addressed councillors on the harmful effect single-use plastics was having on marine life.

"We live in a place flourishing with marine life," she said.

"I am worried about all the single-use plastic that is used and often littered in our area. It is well known that plastics such as straws have a harmful effect on the marine environment."

 

Plastic Straw debate - Deeanne McGrouther from The Ibis Next Door with reusable metal straws. Photo: Cody Fox
Plastic Straw debate - Deeanne McGrouther from The Ibis Next Door with reusable metal straws. Photo: Cody Fox

 

Iluka referenced other regional councils in Queensland, including those in Cairns, Moreton Bay and Bundaberg, which have implemented bans on single-use plastic straws and other single-use plastic items.

Bundaberg Regional Council removed plastic straws from the Moncrief Theatre last year and has now banned the use of single-use plastic straws at any council run events.

"I am asking the council to set a positive example in our community by banning single-use plastic straws at all council run events and venues such as the Brolga Theatre, Food N Groove, Aquatic Centre, Whale Festival and other local markets and festivals," Iluka said.

"I think this is an achievable goal and a good place to start with reducing the amount of plastic that ends up lying around and in the ocean."

After her address, councillor Darren Everard suggested the mayor George Seymour present Iluka's speech during his meeting with the Minister for Environment Leeanne Encoch in Brisbane tomorrow.

The news was welcomed by Hervey Bay business owner Deeanne McGrouther (pictured page 1) from The Ibis Next Door who has long been a supporter of stopping single-use plastic straws and who sells reusable metal straws in her store.

During general business, Cr Seymour moved for a report to be prepared on the phasing out of single-use plastic and straws from council events.

Councillor Anne Maddern raised concerns about what to do at council-run and sponsored events where water must be provided.

"Water comes from plastic bottles, there is a dichotomy there," she said.

It was pointed out that other councils have got around this issue by hiring water stations for event patrons to fill up their own water bottles.

Cr Seymour said this was one of the issues the report should explore.

Councillor Paul Truscott also spoke to put his support behind the idea of phasing out single-use plastics.

The motion to prepare a report was carried unanimously.