A plan for a 12-month smoking ban at Sydney’s Marin Place next year may lead to further areas of the CBD becoming smoke-free.
The City of Sydney will vote on the year-long trial ban – proposed by Liberal councillor Christine Forster – at the next council meeting on 8 December, with a full-time ranger allocated to enforce the restriction if it is approved, the Daily Telegraph reports.
“If it is successful I would look at a motion to expand the ban to Pitt St Mall,” Forster said.
Forster, said other Australian cities had successfully banned smoking in heavily trafficked public spaces.
Forster, sister of prime minister Tony Abbott, said she believes the council will take a subtle approach to enforcement, instead of issuing a bunch of on-the-spot fines.
“I think it will be gently enforced by the ranger advising people they cannot smoke in Martin Place and by appropriate ‘no smoking’ signage,” she said.
Depending on the time of day, between 3% and 8% of people in Martin Place were found to be smoking, according to a survey of more than 750 people conducted last month. The survey revealed there were around 1400 people in Martin Place at 1pm on a typical weekday.
NSW law already disallows smoking at bus stops, taxi ranks and within 4 metres of an entrance to a public building. From July 2015 these restrictions will apply to cafes, clubs, hotels and restaurants. Offenders may be issued fines of up to $550.
In November, NSW national parks outlawed smoking in a number of popular parks, with offenders facing a $300 fine. The ban applies to almost all areas of NSW national parks and reserves, including picnic areas, campgrounds, accommodations, beaches, lookouts, walking tracks, and on national park roads.
Melbourne City Council held a similar trial outlawing smoking in a small area of the CBD.