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Alfresco smoking ban push

19 Sept. 2011

WITH North Sydney Council banning smoking in alfresco dining areas, there are renewed calls for Parramatta Council to bite the bullet on the issue.

Recently, North Sydney councillors voted unanimously to ban smoking in alfresco dining areas on council land – while Parramatta is still in the throes of a 12-month survey of diners and restaurants.

North Sydney conducted a survey over six to eight weeks, on its website and through rate notices.

An overwhelming 92 per cent of the 583 participants voted for the ban.

North Sydney Council will ban smoking in alfresco dining areas and other public areas from October 1.

The council also is pushing for a statewide ban on smoking in public places.

Stafford Sanders from the ASH anti-smoking group said North Sydney’s survey’s findings were consistent with public opinion all over Sydney, including Parramatta.

“We have begun circulating a fact sheet on the effects of smoking in dining areas around venues in Parramatta because we feel that people are not being told the truth,” Mr Sanders told The Parramatta Advertiser.

Cr McDermott said that if a council such as North Sydney – a major CBD like Parramatta – could ban smoking in alfresco dining areas, so could Parramatta.

Mr Sanders said there was no evidence that restaurants suffered long-term damage by banning smoking in outside dining areas.

Lord Mayor John Chedid said Parramatta Council’s decision to implement a 12-month survey was introduced “so that it could better understand any concerns of restaurants and its patrons”.

“Parramatta is home to one of Sydney’s largest dining precincts and council is focused on providing a thorough examination of all of the health, social and economic factors so that we can make an informed decision,” Cr Chedid said.

Survey and research results are expected to go before the council by the end of the year.

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