Outdoor smoking ban: council says more research needed

Outdoor smoking ban: council says more research needed

BALLARAT City Council has refused to say whether it is in support of a push to ban smoking in public areas.The Municipal Association of Victoria has made a formal demand to the state government to make smoking in alfresco areas, playgrounds, school entrances and sports grounds illegal.A number of Melbourne councils have already made moves to ban smoking in public places, but others have not.A City of Ballarat spokesman said the moves had never been considered by council and had not since the plan for the uniform ban had been put forward.He said there needed to be further research done before any decision was made.“Where it is appropriate and to the community’s benefit, restrictions on smoking in public spaces have merit,” the spokesperson said. “The specific locations and impact need to be carefully considered, with appropriate consultation, before any change is made.”MAV president Bill McArthur said there were already a number of states that had smoking bans in public spaces and the Victorian government should do the same to avoid confusion between shires.“Smoke-free alfresco dining and playgrounds already exist or are proposed by state governments in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania,” he said.The decision is not expected to be discussed by Ballarat City Council in the near future.