Macedon Ranges decides on outdoor smoking ban

Macedon Ranges decides on outdoor smoking ban

MACEDON Ranges Shire councillors will tonight decide on a smoke-free outdoor areas policy at their monthly council meeting.

Council officers have recommended they approve the policy, which during community consultation found the majority of Macedon Ranges supported a ban on smoking in outdoor areas.

Over 280 people completed a survey about smoke-free areas with playgrounds and council building entrances receiving the most support.

Macedon Ranges community safety manager Anne-Louise Linder said if the recommendation was approved it would mean the Macedon Ranges Shire would be only the second municipality in the state to have a ban on smoking.

“The Baw Baw rural council have something similar in place and there have been other councils that have tried similar things,” she said.

Eighty-one per cent of survey respondents also supported the ban on smoking during alfresco dining on council land. Ms Linder said 74 per cent of people supported the introduction of a statewide policy.

“Most of the survey results related to areas where children usually are, which is what we expected when we first conducted the report and I think this is one of the main reasons why so many people are for a new policy,” she said. The policy is recommended for implementation in two phases.

The first phase, from July 1, would see a 10-metre smoke-free zone around children’s playgrounds in council parks and reserves, and a 5-metre zone around all council building entrances.

The second phase would implement a 10-metre smoke-free zone around council recreation and sports areas and all outdoor events sponsored or run by council.