Thursday, December 22, 2011

City extends smoking ban

SMOKING will be banned in all outdoor dining areas in Parramatta by May.The council passed the ban after the results of a survey of 900 people that showed it was supported by 68 per cent of respondents.
The policy will also ban smoking within 10 metres of children's playgrounds, sporting fields, sports facilities and bus and taxi stands.
"The impacts of secondhand smoking have been well documented and this new measure will be welcomed by many restaurant-goers, particularly those who frequent our popular Church Street Eat Street precinct," Lord mayor Lorraine Wearne said.

The council acknowledged business owners surveyed opposed the restriction.
"The council is committed to working with our local establishments to minimise any impacts," Cr Wearne said.
"With our high concentration of restaurants and cafes, we're quite different to many other metropolitan areas that have already implemented a similar ban, which is why it was important to engage with all relevant stakeholders."

The ban was scheduled to be implemented a year ago but was delayed after the council received two petitions against the ban, one signed by 120 restaurateurs and another by 8400 diners in Parramatta.
"Every restaurant I spoke to said. . . they were worried about the business they would lose due to this band," Parramatta resident Michael Rhima said when the ban was proposed.

"We're facing tough economic times as it is.
"We shouldn't be further discouraging business from our local restaurants."
The council has said it will run an awareness and education campaign highlighting the new outdoor smoking policy over the next six months. It has also promised to provide resources and, in some cases, financial support for businesses during the transition period.
The council will write to the state government seeking uniform outdoor smoking legislation across the state.
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