Council rebate scheme for reusable menstrual and nappy products a success

BIG WIN: Allanah Huntly whose petition kicked off the initiative said the uptake is a sign council should make the trial permanenet. Picture: Emma Hillier
BIG WIN: Allanah Huntly whose petition kicked off the initiative said the uptake is a sign council should make the trial permanenet. Picture: Emma Hillier

The high uptake of Wagga City Council's trial rebate scheme for reusable period and nappy products and is being celebrated by campaigners.

In July, council introduced a trial six month scheme whereby residents can be rebated for half the cost of reusable nappies or menstrual products up to $100 off the back of two Wagga mum's petition last year.

Council have now revealed that since the scheme began over 111 rebates have been processed.

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Wagga mum Allanah Huntly led the petition with her friend Leanna Gow and said the strong uptake proves the scheme should be made permanent.

"In less than three months I reckon that's excellent," Ms Huntly said. "It's something I think we need to continue offering to continue to enable people to take this step."

Councillor Vanessa Keenan who brought the petition to council less than two weeks after it was launched, said the scheme is taking financial pressure of families and women trying to reduce their waste footprint.

"There is lots of financial pressure on individuals and families at the moment, so to be able to provide an incentive like this is really important because it recognises the significant cost that is more often than not born by women," she said. "The fact there is an alternative product that can reduce cost and waste is fantastic."

A council spokesperson described the trial as a "great success" so far.

Also included in the trial were free community workshops that provide information and resources around the financial benefits of reusable cloth nappies and menstrual products, different styles of products and how to clean and maintain them.

Uptake of the sessions, which have all been held over Zoom because of COVID-19 restrictions, have remained relatively low with just 55-65% of available registrations used.

Ms Huntly said she believes the sessions have been derailed by the COVID-19 outbreak and should be made more accessible as soon as possible.

"If there hasn't been such a good uptake in the workshops I would be inclined to believe that's as a result of restrictions and public health interest," she said. "I do think, council should try and bring it back in person where possible."

For more information on the rebates, click here.

This story Big win for reusable nappies and period products rebate first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.