Would you support Macquarie Mall to become a non-smoking area?
Following Liverpool Council’s March meeting, a proposal for a smoking ban at Macquarie Mall was raised again last week.
The motion was generated after residents complained about smoke and littered cigarette butts in a popular family spot.
Instead of a commitment to a 12 month trial that would have commenced in six months, the motion was deferred for further consultation with stakeholders including the CBD Committee.
The trial at Macquarie Mall would have been made a smoke free zone under conditions including, development of a comprehensive education and communications program to inform the community of changes, to amend the Macquarie Mall Outdoor Dining Permit, and to lobby NSW Health to increase active patrols to enforce smoke-free zones.
In NSW 15 per cent of adults smoke but that figure rises to 20 per cent in south-west Sydney.- Dr Stephen Conaty, South Western Sydney Local Health District
South Western Sydney Local Health District director population health Dr Stephen Conaty delivered a speech to council from a health-care perspective.
He said he would “strongly support a ban.”
“As a doctor I understand the many ways that smoking affects your health. Smoking in public places also prevents others from enjoying those public spaces,” Dr Conaty said.
“Smoking continues to be the most preventable cause of mortality in Australia. In NSW 15 per cent of adults smoke but that figure rises to 20 per cent in south-west Sydney.
“Quitting is good for a smoker’s health and the health of their family. If banning smoking in certain places helps people try to quit that is a good thing. When there are major legislative bans on smoking, you can see changes in the rate of heart attacks in the community.”
Councillor Charishma Kaliyanda said survey results revealed strong community support for a smoking ban.
I think that the community has very clearly stated what they think will improve the environment and attractiveness of Macquarie Mall.- Charishma Kaliyanda, Liverpool councillor
“This is obviously a contentious issue that Council has been looking at for a while. I think that the community has very clearly stated what they think will improve the environment and attractiveness of Macquarie Mall - and that is to reduce/ban smoking in the Mall.
“The community has given a strong response to ally the fears of business owners and have said that this could be an opportunity for a totally new demographic to access the Mall and increase foot traffic to the businesses there.
“We want to get this right, and although I believe that there was enough information for us to try a course of action and monitor the outcome, the majority of the council decided that they wanted further consultation. I hope that we resolve on a course of action as soon as possible, because currently everyone is in a bit of limbo.”
Councillor Nathan Hagarty also called for the council to make a serious decision soon.
“Deferring for more 'stakeholder engagement' is avoiding what we were elected to do - represent our community and make decisions on their behalf.”
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