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One of Parramatta's many alfrsco dining areas. One of Parramatta's many alfrsco dining areas. Featured
12 March 2013 Posted by 

Confusion over city alfresco smoking ban

 By Anthony Stavrinos

PARRAMATTA Council’s controversial decision to overturn a smoking ban has drawn criticism from some quarters, but the councillor responsible said it provided restaurants, the community and cafes with choice.

Liberal councillor Scott Lloyd moved the notice of motion by suspending standing orders in an ambush at the end of Council’s meeting on February 25. “I moved the motion so Parramatta's policy on outdoor smoking was in line with the state government’s,” Cr Lloyd told WSBA.

“I also moved that any restaurant or cafe that goes smoke free before 2015 will receive a 50% reduction on their outdoor dining lease up until 2015. “Restaurants, Cafes and the community need choice and I have given them that.”

A rescission motion has been lodged in an attempt to reinstate the ban, but has little prospect of success based on council’s political makeup and party-aligned voting that has already taken place on this issue.

Former Lord Mayor, Lorraine Wearne, said the backflip makes a mockery of the public consultation process. “I believe this makes the Council look extremely foolish,” she told WSBA.

“It makes it look like someone’s got at them. Why would councillors who were part of the original process for community consultation and who supported the decision arising from such consultation, do an about face? “Our council is behaving like a dying fish – constantly flip-flopping (on issues).”

The Cancer Council said it was extremely disappointed that Parramatta Council had decided to overturn its decision to introduce outdoor smoke-free dining. “Such a decision is out of step with what the community has repeatedly said it wants, it’s completely out of step with the direction that the state government has taken and it’s out of step with protecting local residents from harmful toxic second hand smoke,” said Rory Alcock, the Cancer Council’s Manager, Greater Western Sydney region.

“We know that community members in Parramatta were ready for this change. “Recent data showed that over 80% of the community said that they would like to see smoke-free polices introduced and reversing the decision without giving the community any time or notice to respond to the change is inadequate and extremely disappointing.”

Parramatta City Council said in a statement that the decision endorsed a motion to align its smoking in public places policy with recent changes to NSW Government legislation.

“This means that Council’s policy now includes a ban on smoking in public swimming complexes, at sporting fields, within 10 metres of children’s play equipment, at public transport terminals and entrances to public buildings,” the statement said.

Council said it also meant implementing a ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas from July 2015. “This will give local businesses choice and an even playing field with businesses across the State,” it said.

“Council continues to encourage businesses to adopt smoke-free outdoor dining areas. As an incentive for businesses, Council will provide a 50% discount on footpath leasing fees.”



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Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.