Last month the council discussed a ban on smoking at Macquarie Mall. The motion was deferred, however, survey results reveal strong community support for the ban.
We spoke to a few residents and this is what they had to say:
Michael Benjamin, cafe customer: "As a smoker I would like to have a right to smoke. I vote, my rights should be equal to everybody else. So if they want to ban smoking the Federal Government should do it all together. I'll find another coffee shop to find where I can sit down and have a smoke."
Hellen Glekas, cafe waitress: "I don't mind, I'm open to it. People should be able to make their own choices. We have a smoking and non-smoking area for both customers so it doesn't worry me."
Alison Megarrity: "My husband suffers from asthma just like a lot of people in this area so we have trouble walking past cafes where people smoke. Sitting down and ordering is beyond a possibility so we have to go into Liverpool Westfield or the plaza. I think it's good the council are asking the question. We don't want to disadvantage businesses but we'd use these businesses more if we could. It would be nice to see them try it.”
Cr Kaliyanda: "When the council surveyed residents we got a number of different responses and one of the most common pieces of feedback was people were avoiding the mall because of the impact of smoke. I think if smoking was controlled in the mall, more people would feel more comfortable accessing it. I think we've been exploring what to do for close to nine months now so my ideal situation would be to trial some action and act on the evidence."
Jelena Tampolja, mother: "I would support the ban. I have a baby and avoid smoke. I won't sit down at a cafe if people smoke and I like fresh air, so I feel restricted now. Also, when cafes have a non-smoking zone and a smoking zone that doesn’t work because they’re too close."
George Kowalin: "I think smoking's a bad thing, especially for people who are eating. I've had to move tables, it's just getting ridiculous! I need to go through smoking areas and many times I've had to hold my breathe because I'm sensitive to it."
Sam Aldoumany, Le Maison cafe owner: "I'm against any proposals to make this a smoke-free zone. All my customers are smokers. They'll go somewhere else if they ban it and we'll be forced out of business."