From Plastic Bags to Car Share – a big week in Freo

It was a big week for new initiatives at Fremantle Council this last week and the new draft of the plastic bag local law and the new car sharing policy were top of the list. While it might seem that these issues arise suddenly in the public realm, the reality is City of Fremantle staff put a lot of hard work researching and pulling these laws and policies together before they come to Fremantle Council. So a big thanks to them. First is an early morning Nine  interview I did and below that is a summary of the two issues that our staff also pulled together.

Council approves plastic bag reduction law

Council has endorsed the Plastic Bag Reduction Local Law 2014, which will now be submitted to State Parliament for final approval.

The law is designed to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags within the City of Fremantle by prohibiting retailers from providing single-use, non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags to customers.

The notable change from a similar law rejected by State Parliament last year is that the law will no longer require retailers to charge a minimum 10 cent fee for alternative shopping bags provided to shoppers. Some penalties have also been revised for consistency with laws in other jurisdictions


The City sought legal advice to assess a report prepared by the Joint Standing Committee on the disallowance last year of a similar law (Plastic Bag Reduction Local Law 2012)

The legal advice found that the local law itself, with the exception of the mandatory fee for alternative plastic bags, was within the power of the City of Fremantle to implement as per the Local Government Act 1995.

The local law was accordingly redrafted, removing the mandatory 10 cent fee, publicly advertised and resubmitted to council.

A phasing in of the new law will occur and will include an assistance program for local businesses and a public education program.


Car share trial for Fremantle

Council has approved an initial two year car share trial to promote an increase in the uptake of car sharing options and facilitation of car share operators across the City.

The City will now undertake work to facilitate a fleet of at least 50 viable car share vehicles in the municipality by 2020. This network of vehicles will enable a significant number of households and businesses in Fremantle to have access to a car without having to commit to the purchase of one.

To achieve this target the City will support on-street car sharing and the placement of shared cars in city car parks; new planning controls to integrate opportunities for car sharing into urban renewal areas; marketing and education, and facilitation and enforcement of dedicated car share spaces.


On consulting with local governments supporting car share schemes on the east coast of Australia, a decision was made to develop a new policy to encourage a similar scheme in Fremantle.

The City has also recently been approached by a number of car share operators enquiring about the possibility of supporting car share schemes within Fremantle.

Car share programs allow members to book a nearby vehicle for a short time, unlock it with a membership card, and later return the vehicle at the end of the booking. Cost is calculated on time and trip distance.

Many cities have recognised the opportunity to integrate car sharing with public transport, public bicycle schemes, publicly owned vehicle fleets, and other transport sustainability programs. Sydney and Melbourne support several successful car share systems, and Adelaide and Canberra will soon establish new systems also. The successful Sydney policy is the model on which Fremantle’s new policy has been developed.



About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

5 Responses to From Plastic Bags to Car Share – a big week in Freo

  1. Nonie Jekabsons says:

    Hi Brad, just a quick query ; what is the definition of ‘biodegradable’ as it applies to shopping bags in the context of the law to become applicable in Fremantle?

  2. Emma Anda says:

    Fantasatic! I feel proud to live in Freo and know that my council is putting in the research and hard work, and spending time on intelligent consideration and debate, to put forward and support ideas such as these, and to do it very thoroughly and not in a slapdash sort of way. I will look forward to following the progress on both of these things.

  3. Samantha Donovan says:

    Hi Brad,
    I hope you will be attending Steffen Lehmann’s lecture on sustainable cities at Curtin tonight. Here is the link in case you don’t know about it. 5.30 start at Tim Winton lecture theatre, cheers

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