By chance I was present for the launch of the new children’s playground in Hargreaves Mall on Thursday. It was great to see so many happy children and their parents actually in the mall.
However, I was quickly reminded of a big reason why families shop elsewhere. Being with our five-month-old son I was very conscious of the wafting cigarette smoke everywhere we walked within the mall.
I urge Bendigo to follow the example of other Victorian councils and ban smoking in outdoor public areas, especially Hargreaves Mall.
If council truly wants the mall to be family-friendly, this is of utmost importance. If the CBD traders want to increase their business and encourage people back to the mall after the disastrous mall redevelopment, this is a must-do.
Until my family is guaranteed we can shop without being barraged by the smell of cigarette smokers, and I’m guaranteed my infant son won’t be forced to breathe toxic second-hand smoke, we won’t be visiting the mall again.