Australia’s first smoke-free CBD
SMOKERS will be asked to butt out of Sydney's second-largest CBD if the council gets its wish to create what is possibly a national-first smoking ban.
At a council meeting earlier this week, North Sydney mayor Jilly Gibson put forward the idea to make the CBD the first smoke-free business district in the country.
"Cigarettes are not only bad for smokers; their cigarette butts litter our streets and the second-hand smoke is detrimental to everyone's health," the mayor said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald .
"It is important that we create a safe environment for our community where everyone can enjoy our outdoor open spaces."
North Sydney councillors unanimously passed the motion and the proposal now goes to community consultation.
Smoking is already banned in a number of public places in North Sydney including Elizabeth Plaza and Brett Whiteley Place.
Despite the community consultation, Ms Gibson said she believes North Sydneysiders will back the public smoking ban.
Ms Gibson said she even hopes to eventually make North Sydney the first smoke-free municipality, where around 70,000 people live.
"Why not try these big ideas?" Ms Gibson told AAP.
"Even if we reduce people's smoking in the CBD by, let's say, 50 per cent, that would be a huge result."
Ms Gibson said the latest move wasn't about punishing smokers but about improving the amenity of the area for residents, workers, visitors and schoolchildren.
North Sydney councillors said they would not enforce the ban through fines but rather through encouragement and goodwill.
"When we made Brett Whiteley Place and Elizabeth Plaza smoke-free, there was no resistance whatsoever, just absolute positive feedback," Ms Gibson told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Council is expected to finish consultations by December and will start handing out "NS.NS" stickers, an anagram for "North Sydney. No Smoking", to let residents show their support.
The NSW town of Glen Innes in the Northern Tablelands introduced a smoking ban across its CBD in 2015.