Puff away while you can because there are moves afoot to expand local council powers to ban smoking in public places.
Puff away while you can because there are moves afoot to expand local council powers to ban smoking in public places. Robyne Cuerel

LGAQ asked to butt out in smoking ban saga

SMOKING could be banned from the taxi ranks in Monkland and Smithfield Sts, and at sporting fields and bus stops throughout the region following a resolution of the Local Government Association of Queensland.

A motion by the Southern Downs Regional Council at the recent LGAQ conference, attended by Acting Mayor Tony Perrett, called for extra powers for councils to ban smoking in public areas.

Hot on the heels of the motion was a Cancer Council Queensland call for consistent state-wide laws to enforce smoke-free public spaces.

Cr Perrett said yesterday Queensland councils were already empowered to ban smoking in outdoor malls and places like bus stops, under the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act, but that Gympie Regional Council had voted in 2010 to not introduce the laws locally.

That position still stood, he said. The biggest problem with expanding the smoking ban in public spaces was enforcing it, Cr Perrett said.

Who would pay for the "smoking police"?

The Southern Downs' motion does not specify which areas it wants to ban smoking in, but it could include public areas like sporting fields.

Increased powers would help reduce smoking rates and litter in the community, the LGAQ heard. The Cancer Council has since said more than 90% of respondents in a recent Queensland community poll supported action to enforce smoke free public spaces.

Fast facts

  •  2009 Queensland councils given certain powers to ban smoking in public places
  •  2013 90% of respondents to a Cancer Council poll want action to enforce smoke free public spaces
  •  1 in 7 deaths in Qld are due to smoking
  •  300 deaths a year due to second-hand smoke.
Gympie Times


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