Oakleigh street dining

Monash Council is taking a hard-line approach to outdoor smoking and have threatened to use their “own powers” to enforce a smoking ban in outdoor eating areas such as Eaton Mall in Oakleigh.

The council is calling on the state government to ensure that smoking is 100% banned in the outdoor areas of cafes and restaurants at all times.

The council has been lobbying a complete outdoor smoking ban since 2011. Monash Mayor Paul Klisaris wrote a letter to Health Minister Jill Hennessey in 2015 urging progress on the issue.

Recently, the state government announced that from August 1, 2017 a smoking ban would be introduced in Eaton Mall’s outdoor areas. However, the government’s Tobacco Amendment Bill would still allow smoking in outdoor drinking areas where food is served, if the area is less than 75% covered.

Under this rule, cafes and restaurants could convert their outdoor areas to drinking areas, allowing people to light up while they consume a beverage.

Implementing a complete smoking ban is something the council is working hard towards. An article in this month’s Monash Bulletin said if the government failed to stand up for the health of the community, “council will use its own powers to introduce smoking bans to popular eating areas such as Eaton Mall”.

“Under what is being proposed by the government, disgusting and dangerous second hand smoke would still waft along our popular outdoor dining areas,” the article read.

Cr Paul Klisaris has said that smoking in outdoor eating areas was inconsiderate.

“Many families have told us that they think twice about eating outdoors because they do not want their children to be exposed to second hand smoke,” Cr Klisaris said.

The council is pushing for a “comprehensive ban” on smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas – a movement that 75% of surveyed local residents support.

Monash Council was the first Victorian council to implement a ban against smoking near playgrounds, a ban that is now a blanket rule across the entire state of Victoria.

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