Two Wagga mums have proven the age-old adage of "if you want something done, do it yourself".
Wagga City Council has introduced a rebate for reusable nappies and menstrual products after Alannah Huntly and Leanna Gow started a petition in November 2020.
"We were both cloth mums, and we thought it would be nice to get a bit of money back, and a bit of a hand as the initial outlay can be a bit expensive," Ms Huntly said.
"I thought 'let's see if there is community interest', and the easiest thing to do was start an online petition and see where it went."
Within two days, Ms Huntly had been contacted by councillor Vanessa Keenan who decided to support their cause.
Within a week, Ms Keenan put a motion to the council that called for the report into whether providing rebates was a feasible initiative.
"We addressed the council, they did an initial report, and then council found that it was something they would like to trial for the year," Ms Huntly said.
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"I am very excited that it is happening. I am passionate about making it easy for people to be as sustainable as they can be.
"One the barriers I found for a lot of cloth mums is cost."
Residents can now be rebated for half the cost of reusable nappies up to the value of $100 per child/user.
The rebate program will apply to those who choose to purchases reusable menstrual products.
"I was short-sighted," Ms Huntly said. "I wasn't using that product so out of sight, out of mind, but as soon as someone said it, I thought 'of course. Period poverty is still an issue in our town."
Manager of council business, Darryl Woods, said a report was presented to councillors in April detailing the benefits of reusable products both from an economical and sustainable point of view.
"A trial rebate was proposed, which council endorsed," he said.
"We'd like to encourage our community to take advantage of the six-month rebate.
"There's certainly been a lot of early support since we launched the initiative yesterday, with applications already coming in."
Mr Woods said there's no one right or wrong way to make the change to reusable products.
He said if it seems daunting, supplementing current products with reusable items is an excellent way to get started.
"We'll also be adding expert-led workshops to the initiative, where residents can discover all the different products out in the market, where to find them, and learn how to use them," he said.
"The workshops will be offered both face-to-face and online, and we'll make those online sessions available later for anyone who can't make it to a workshop."
For more information on the rebates, click here.
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