Smoke Free Areas
A 12 month trial of smoke free outdoor areas in the Baw Baw Shire was undertaken from 1 August 2011. This trial was extended and still continues whilst Council's Local Laws Department reviews the findings.
The Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy prohibits smoking within 10 metres of the following Council owned, operated and leased building entrances:
- Civic Centre, Civic Place, Warragul
- Warragul Customer Service Centre, 61Smith Street, Warragul
- Drouin Customer Service Centre, 33 Young Street, Drouin
- West Gippsland Arts Centre, Civic Place, Warragul
- Trafalgar Customer Service Centre, Princes Highway, Trafalgar
- Infrastructure and Engineering Customer Service Centre, Civic Place, Warragul
- Community Care and Strengthening Customer Service Centre, 61 Smith Street, Warragul
- Warragul Library, 75 Victoria Street, Warragul
- Drouin Library, 136 Princes Way, Drouin
The trial also prohibits smoking in the following areas:
- Within 10 metres of all children's playground equipment and kindergartens
- At events run by the Council on Council land
- In alfresco dining areas on Council land
- Within covered bus stops on Council land
- At taxi ranks on Council land
- Within 10 metres of the entrances to club rooms and canteens at sporting facilities
- On the playing fields and within three metres of the playing field boundaries at sporting facilities
- Within 10 metres of the Baw Baw Mobile Library when parked and in operation
- Shopping malls and pedestrian areas in central activity district areas of Warragul, Yarragon, Drouin, Trafalgar and Neerim South
Benefits of Smoke Free Areas
The Council has a duty to protect the health of our community. Second hand smoke contains more than 250 toxic substances. Council is not trying to make smoking illegal, it is simply taking responsible steps to ensure that smoking is restricted to certain areas for the health and safety of the people of Baw Baw Shire. Smoke free areas will also assist to reduce the amount of cigarette butts that litter our parks and fill our waterways. It is estimated that over 10 million cigarette butts end up in rivers, bays and waterways every year. Cigarette butts take up to five years to break down and are one of the most common items of litter.
Infringements will only be issued as a last resort. Council has installed signage in areas being trialled as smoke free. Under Part 4.2 of the Community Local Law 2008, Council can issue an infringement to anyone not complying.
New State Government Outdoor Smoking Laws
As of 1 April 2014 smoking has been banned in the following outdoor areas:
- at or within 10 metres of outdoor children’s playground equipment
- at or within 10 metres of outdoor skate parks
- at or within 10 metres of outdoor sporting venues during organised underage sporting events
- in outdoor areas within public swimming pool complexes
The new bans will provide children and young people with a healthy, smoke-free environment in which to play. Specifically the bans will limit exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, de-normalise smoking behaviours and support people who have quit or are trying to quit smoking.