Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

‘Greens push for establishment of Marine Plastics CRC in Hobart’

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Greens Senator for Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson and Greens Candidate for Pembroke, Alderman Bill Harvey are pushing for the establishment of a Marine Plastics Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) in Hobart to investigate and find solutions to the scourge of plastics in our ocean.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The ground-breaking Senate Inquiry into the threat of marine plastics, initiated by the Greens, received full cross party support for its important recommendations, including the urgent need to boost research funding into measuring, monitoring and mitigating the growing tide of toxic plastic pollution.

“This proposal to establish a Marine Plastics CRC is based on the comprehensive evidence uncovered during the inquiry.

“We are only just beginning to understand the impacts of plastic pollution on wildlife and especially on the human health as the plastics accumulate in the food chain. In the Senate Inquiry we heard that plastic in the ocean degrades into smaller and smaller pieces and gets taken up by plankton and shellfish, and then ultimately up through the food chain.

“We need to create an integrated science program that examines the sources and fate of plastic pollution, the environmental and human impacts, and investigates opportunities to address the issue.

“Given that plastic pollution is a global problem, a Marine Plastics CRC will build technologies and skills that we can export around the world. For instance, simply developing an alternative to plastic microbeads in cosmetics would be worth tens of millions a year. Other opportunities include developing a soft-drink bottle lid that doesn’t fall off.

“I want all political parties to back this proposal. I want industry to come out and back it too. This is an idea whose time has come and I’m not going to stop pushing for it until it becomes a reality.
The CRC would receive $5 million a year in base-funding from the Federal Government which would be matched by contributions from various state and local governments along with industry partners in the plastics and waste sector.

Greens Candidate for Pembroke, Alderman Bill Harvey said, “Tackling the problem of marine plastic pollution will be at the top of my agenda if the people of Tasmania choose to elect me to the Legislative Council. This project is going to require leadership on the ground and I will work to bring local stakeholders together.

“We envisage that Hobart would be the ideal place to base the CRC given the strengths of University of Tasmania in marine and environmental science. The CRC would employ a minimum of 70 staff to begin with, which would grow as the co-contributions of partners increased. The centre would be staffed by oceanographers, ecologists, toxicologists, policy experts, and designers and engineers.

“Establishing another science-based CRC in Hobart would really cement our place as a world leader in environmental science, “he concluded.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Russell

    November 2, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    “…pushing for the establishment of a Marine Plastics Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) in Hobart to investigate and find solutions to the scourge of plastics in our ocean.”

    Solutions!? The solution is to ban plastics or make them 100% recyclable and have a recycle collection system which is actually implemented.

    There you go, didn’t cost a cent!

    Re #4
    “No-one really understands how we managed to do without these for so many centuries.”

    Huh? Everyone understands, but nobody cares. You have to wonder how people ever got on without their bloody dumb phones too! Gen Z couldn’t.

    Some simple solutions. String bags. Remember bakelite? A milk waste product which may provide a better income for dairy farmers if anyone bothered to support it.

  2. O'Brien

    October 31, 2017 at 11:51 pm

  3. George Smiley

    October 30, 2017 at 12:01 am

    The microbeads issue is especially worrying. No-one really understands how we managed to do without these for so many centuries. But unfortunately they go straight into the guts of micro-organisms without the years of wear and ultraviolet exposure that reduce so much of our dumped waste to poisonous slime.

    But with a little imagination and huge capital outlay for giant ball mills the world may yet be successfully exfoliated via oyster shells, bones, pumice, nutshells – just about anything hard and insoluble is already known to work.

  4. hans willink

    October 29, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    This is a commendable proposal, Bill. It’s good to see candidates at this election coming uo with new ideas to help address serious problems.

    Wishing you good luck, but not too much luck ☺

  5. john hayward

    October 28, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Asking a Liberal Govt to support a marine plastics CRC so soon after the death of our Forestry CRC is grossly insensitive, particularly when so many of our MPs are plastic themselves.

    Plus, such an organisation would inevitably be seen as progressive, which is exactly the opposite direction our Abetz Government clearly wishes to go.

    John Hayward

  6. Greg James

    October 28, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    I recently was swimming in the mid pacific. Every swim was with plastic. The locals still use the ocean as a garbage dump and the results are in, they no longer can survive on fishing. They buy canned processed food and they are becoming obese. Yet, they still will empty bags of rubbish below high tide and expect to have no repercussions.
    It is time to tax plastic to pay for the sensible ideas above.

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