North Sydney Looks Set to Become Australia's First Smoke-Free CBD
If the motion receives local community support, it could be implemented by Christmas or early 2019.
September 29, 2018
Soon, in North Sydney, smokers mightn't just have to stub out their cigarettes in public areas — rather, puffing away in the entire central business district could be banned.
At a meeting this week, the North Sydney Council moved to create a smoke-free CBD, prohibiting smoking in all public spaces within the North Sydney local government area. The motion received the unanimous support of attending councillors, with determining community support listed as the next step in the meeting minutes.
North Sydney, Sydney's second largest CBD, already boasts a number of smoke-free zones at Brett Whiteley Place and Elizabeth Plaza. Both are self-regulated, which is how the council proposes that the new CBD-wide ban would work — and with participating restaurants, bars and cafes placing council-produced and -providers stickers in their windows to help raise awareness.
"Council's creation of self-regulated, no smoking zones has been well received by the community and I believe a push to expand this policy would be widely welcomed," North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson states in the minutes.
The mayor advised the ABC that fines won't be issued for those who flout the ban — and if locals supported the smoke-free plan, it could be in place by Christmas or early 2019. And, Gibson told the Sydney Morning Herald, the eventual aim is to make the entirety of North Sydney's shared public spaces smoke-free, including streets, plazas, parks and outdoor seating.
Throughout New South Wales more broadly, smoking in enclosed areas of licensed premises has been illegal since 2007, while lighting up in outdoor spaces such as public transport stops and stations, the entrances to public buildings, around children's playgrounds and near spectators at sporting facilities has been banned since 2012. In 2015, the state prohibited smoking in outdoor dining areas as well, including on on footpaths outside licensed cafes and pubs. And, since September 2016, Pitt Street Mall Place in the Sydney CBD has been smoke-free.
Queensland outlawed smoking in outdoor dining areas in 2006, while Victoria followed suit in 2017. And both Brisbane and Melbourne have designated smoke-free areas in their CBDs — either through state-wide restrictions on smoking in outdoor pedestrian malls, or through specific smoke-free sites. Hobart also has a number of designated smoke-free sites.