One Sydney council area will be the first in Australia to make its CBD smoke-free… with an initial emphasis on education, says its pharmacist mayor
At the October meeting of the Strathfield Council, it was decided that smoking will be banned in the Strathfield CBD, and that signage be erected advising locals not to smoke there.
It’s an issue which has been discussed for some time, says Mayor Gulian Vaccari, who told the AJP that a report was tabled at the October meeting and the decision made unanimously.
“The original idea to investigate smoking infringements in Strathfield came from my Deputy Mayor, Matthew Blackmore,” says Cr Vaccari, who has been a pharmacist for over 30 years.
“We have an interest in making sure our business districts are the best they can be, so smoking is part of that,” he says.
“We have seven out of seven Councillors concerned about public health. My original idea was to just have this as a small trial in one small section of the CBD – Strathfield Square, directly outside Strathfield Station.
“As the meetings went on, it became quite clear that the other Councillors were as concerned as I was. So we eventually landed with the whole of the Strathfield CBD, which is not a huge area – it’s quite a contained area.”
The area across the road from one of the CBD’s boundaries is administered by the adjacent Burwood Council, and it was determined at the meeting that Strathfield write to Burwood to encourage the neighbouring council to also consider a smoke-free area.
Cr Vaccari says that initially, compliance officers would simply talk with people smoking in the CBD, rather than immediately imposing fines.