NEW smoking restrictions come into effect today, increasing the number of places in Bathurst where people will be banned from lighting up.
According to NSW Health a whole raft of regulations will be introduced to make certain areas smoke free.
It will not be possible to smoke within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in an outdoor public place, open areas of public swimming pool complexes, spectator areas of sports grounds or other recreational areas during organised sporting events.
It will also no longer be possible to smoke at public transport stops and stations including train stations, bus stops and taxi ranks.
Smoking will be prohibited within four metres of a pedestrian access point to a non-residential building.
Kelso’s Cooke Hockey Complex has already been smoke free for the past 12 months.
President of Bathurst Hockey Libby Milligan said when Bathurst Regional Council made the decision to encourage sporting venues to go smoke-free, it seemed like a good opportunity to ban smoking from the facility.
She said now people must go outside the main gates to have a smoke.
“From a sporting point of view especially, we should be encouraging young ones not to smoke,” Ms Milligan said.
“The move has also decreased the amount of litter around the grounds as people tend to place their butts in the bins provided.
“I think formalising what we are already doing is a good idea.
“Since we introduced these measures we haven’t had anyone who is averse to it,” she said.
Ms Milligan said if they see anyone smoking inside the hockey complex, they advise them over the loud speaker about the fact there is a designated smoking place, and that they should take advantage of it.
Council’s General Manager David Sherley said council has already shown leadership in taking measures to protect the health and social well-being of the community.
In 2010 council adopted a no smoking policy within 10m of all children’s playgrounds and within all council sporting venues in the Bathurst Local Government area.
Council also agreed to purchase and install signs displaying the international “no smoking” symbol together with suitable wording in prominent places at council’s playgrounds and sporting venues.
Mr Sherley said council’s objectives in banning smoking in various council areas were to improve the health of community members and minimise cigarette butt pollution at council owned facilities, waterways, parks and other open spaces.
However, the new regulations do not stop there.
From July 6, 2015 commercial outdoor dining areas will become smoke-free, with smoking banned in any outdoor public place that is a seated dining area.