A THREE-month trial ban on smoking in the main street has been approved from September, with Orange councillors to request an enforcement officer from the state government.
Councillors voted down councillor Reg Kidd’s motion to ban smoking in Summer Street between Peisley and Hill streets permanently, with councillors arguing enforcement was difficult and it was not illegal to smoke.
Councillor Kevin Duffy was happy with current restrictions.
“If you are fair dinkum, what diesel fumes do to us affects us far worse than cigarette smoke. 99.99 per cent of people do the right thing.”
However, councillor Jason Hamling suggested a three-month trial ban, which councillors supported.
After the meeting, Cr Hamling said the motion was not anti-smokers, but it aimed to make them more considerate of shoppers around them.
“It doesn’t worry me, but if I’m with my children and people are smoking all over the place, everyone has a right to walk down the street without [coming into contact with] cigarette smoke,” he said.
Cr Hamling acknowledged enforcement would be an issue and council rangers could not be expected to move smokers on in case they were attacked.
“It was interesting to hear about the state government’s four smoking officers - maybe during that three months, we can have a blitz,” he said.
Signs will be in place by the end of August and the council will request a health inspector from the state government.
Although his original motion failed, Cr Kidd was happy with a trial, saying smokers would not have to think about the distance from shopping centre entrances and bus stops when selecting a smoking location.
“If it’s Summer Street from Peisley Street to Hill Street, that’s easy to remember,” he said.
“It’s a good start and the trial will show if it’s going to help or not.”