One Gladstone local urging for tougher smoking ban

CHANGES to smoking laws came into effect at the start of this month, which placed further restrictions on where Queenslanders could spark up and take a puff.

But these new laws have given local governments the power to go above and beyond the demands made by the State Government, which may have spurred on one person in Gladstone who urged councillors to ban smoking from all beaches in the region.

Despite the fact smokers are now not allowed to smoke within five metres of things like bus stops, early childhood education and care services and aged care facilities, smokers can still puff away on beaches, but only not in flagged areas.

Rhiannon Wright and Sheridan Treadwell disagree with the hurdles imposed on them as smokers.
Rhiannon Wright and Sheridan Treadwell disagree with the hurdles imposed on them as smokers. Mike Richards

In a report presented to the council it said: "A request has been lodged with (the council) to create a local law banning smoking on the beaches throughout the region…state law makes it illegal to smoke within the flagged areas of a beach but there is nothing legislated banning smoking in other parts of beaches."

The council were presented with three options to consider, which included making no changes; to amend local laws to adopt a smoke free area on all beaches; and, to amend local laws to adopt smoke free areas on all beaches and other nominated areas by the council.

But if the council decided to act on the Gladstone resident's request to ban smoking at all areas on our beaches, this would require the council to take on the responsibility of enforcing the ban.

And after it was noted that the responsibility to enforce any ban would fall on the council, it was decided quickly and without fuss that the council would make no changes and not ban smoking on all areas of beaches in the region.

New changes to smoking laws, as of September 1 this year:

- No-smoking within five metres of public transport waiting points such as bus stops, taxi ranks and ferry terminals.

- No-smoking within ten metres of playing and viewing areas during organised under- 18 sporting events.

- No-smoking within ten metres of skate parks.

- No-smoking within five metres of early childhood education and care services, including kindergartens and places offering after school hour care.

- No-smoking at all outdoor pedestrian malls.

- No-smoking within five metres of all residential aged care facilities, outside of designated areas.
Increase the smoke free buffer at all non-residential building entrances from four to five metres.

- No-smoking at pedestrian precincts around prescribed State Government Buildings.

- No-smoking at public swimming pool facilities.



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