Smokers get red card within 10m of sporting fields

Ipswich City Council will erect signs at sporting grounds across the region warning players, parents and other patrons that smoking in the area is illegal.

Health, Security and Community Safety Committee Chairperson Cr Sheila Ireland said amendments to the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act affected Council’s existing local laws regarding smoke free public areas.

The State Government had provided Council with $50,000 to assist with updating infrastructure, installing/updating signage, education and enforcement in existing and additional smoke-free areas.

Cr Ireland said some of funding had been spent on updating signage around public transport waiting points to reflect the change in law from four to five metres. This has included replacement of aluminium signs and removal of footpath markings.

“One of the new laws is that there is no smoking within 10 metres of playing and viewing areas during organised under-18 sporting events,” she said.

“It is proposed that a portion of the remaining funding is spent on signage around Council-owned sporting facilities and areas where there is existing infrastructure that signs can be easily affixed to. The purpose of this method is to spread the funding further and ensure the aesthetics of areas are not dramatically impacted by new infrastructure and signage.”

Cr Ireland said signage would be affixed to the bottom of scoreboards at some grounds and above/on entry points to others.

“Council has also consulted with the West Moreton Public Health Unit (WMPHU) to discuss the proposals as an increase in awareness may result in more complaints/queries being made to their office as they are responsible for enforcement of these areas. The WMPHU are supportive of the proposed approach.”

“With the roll-out of new smoke-free areas it is important to have supporting signage to ensure users of facilities are aware of changes. The proposed signage will support self-regulation and ensure no user is caught off guard when enforcement is conducted by the State Government.”

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