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North Sydney's CBD Is Butting Out and Becoming Totally Smoke-Free

A smoking ban will be rolled out across the CBD, following community support and a unanimous council vote.
By Libby Curran
July 23, 2019
By Libby Curran
July 23, 2019

Get set for cleaner air and fewer cigarette butts lying around, as North Sydney becomes one of the first smoke-free CBDs in the country.

Last September, North Sydney Council first introduced the motion, before extensive community consultation indicated that the majority of residents were also on board. Then, yesterday at a council meeting, councillors voted unanimously in support of the CBD-wide ban, which will be rolled out across two stages.

For the first three months it'll be a self-regulated ban, with various initiatives focused on spreading awareness about the changes, including footpath decals. After this first stage, the council will go through reports and feedback to determine whether the ban needs further enforcement. So, while there won't be any penalties or fines at the start, they could be implemented if people aren't so good at obeying the rules.

A map of the smoke-free North Sydney CBD

Smoking will be banned across the CBD, as well as in the area extending north to the Council Chambers and the Civic Centre. A number of smoke-free zones already exist at Brett Whiteley Place and Elizabeth Plaza, where they've been operating successfully through self-regulation.

"There's been a lot of interest in this proposal and I'm not surprised," said North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson in a statement. "Second hand smoke is detrimental to everyone's health. We want to create a safe environment for our community where everyone can enjoy our outdoor open spaces."

In the rest of NSW, the State Government introduced a smoking ban in outdoor dining areas – including on footpaths outside licensed cafes and pubs – since 2015, while Pitt Street Mall Place in the Sydney CBD became smoke-free from September 2016. Brisbane, Melbourne and Hobart also have designated smoke-free public places in their own CBD's.

Published on July 23, 2019 by Libby Curran

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