NSW Labor has revealed a report revealing graphic and harrowing evidence of deaths and injuries caused to marine wildlife by single use plastic bags.

The Berejiklian Government has been aware of the report for 2 years since it was presented to the ministerial round table on single use plastic bags in 2016 by Taronga Wildlife Hospital and revealed that increased numbers of endangered marine animals were being admitted to Taronga Wildlife Hospital with serious injuries caused by single use plastic bags.

The report revealed the number of turtles admitted to Taronga Wildlife Hospital for ingesting plastic increased from 4, in 2006-2010, to 28 in 2011-2015. The report also revealed graphic photos of the damage single use plastic bags caused to turtles, dolphins and other marine animals.

Despite the findings in the report, the Premier has gone on record at Budget Estimates 2018 saying she is happy to outsource the conservation of endangered wildlife to the private sector, claiming that banning plastic bags is not ‘a job for the heavy hand of government’.

Ms Berejiklian’s refusal to act on this report stands in stark contrast to the actions of one of her own constituents, a fifteen year old high school student, who has  amassed more than 10,000 signatures to trigger a parliamentary debate calling for a ban on plastic bags. Ms Berejiklian  tabled the petition but has ruled out actually supporting it on the floor of parliament.

NSW opposition leader Luke Foley said that he was disturbed by the numbers of turtles admitted to Taronga in the report and by the report’s harrowing pictures of endangered turtles and other marine animals killed by plastic. NSW Labor has already submitted legislation to the parliament calling for a ban on single use plastic bags.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“I am shocked by the harrowing images of endangered marine animals and by the Taronga Wildlife Hospital’s report showing the massive increase in turtles and other marine animals being admitted suffering from complications related to plastic.

While Gladys Berejiklian is happy to outsource the protection of threatened species to the private sector, my government will take action on single use plastic bags to protect our precious turtles and dolphins.

A Foley Labor Government will ban single use plastic bags.”