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Victorian councils call for statewide outdoor smoking ban

Victorians councils are calling for a statewide ban smoking in alfresco dining areas and playgrounds. Source: The Courier-Mail

VICTORIAN councils have demanded the State Government ban smoking in public outdoor areas.

Formal demands for a statewide smoking ban in alfresco dining areas and playgrounds has been put to the Baillieu Government and councils also want a similar ban for beaches, school entrances and sports grounds.

The Municipal Association of Victoria says co-ordinated action must be taken on health grounds and to eliminate confusion because some councils have enacted smoking bans while others have not.

The City of Hobsons Bay is tonight expected to approve a smoking ban at playgrounds and at Williamstown and Altona beaches.

A Monash Council ban on smoking at playgrounds will extend it to public pools and around council-owned buildings, including sports centres from October 1.

Port Phillip and Frankston councils also have limited smoking bans while other municipalities are considering laws.

MAV president Bill McArthur said a plan had been put to Health Minister David Davis for a uniform ban on smoking in outdoor public places.

“In addition to proposing state smoking bans for alfresco dining and playgrounds, the MAV is asking the Government to investigate and test community support for bans in other public places such as beaches, sports grounds and facilities, and outside school entrances,” Cr McArthur said.

He said several states had already banned or were considering alfresco and playground smoking bans, with smoking causing 4000 deaths and costing about $5 billion a year.

A spokeswoman for Mr Davis said talks were continuing with organisations including VicHealth over future anti-smoking measures.

“The Baillieu Government has also acted swiftly to amend the Tobacco Act to enable prosecution of people who smoke in cars with children and also to indicate its support for plain packaging of cigarettes,” she said.

Hobsons Bay councillor Luba Grigorovitch said the beach smoking ban would take effect in about a month if it won support.

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