SMOKERS will be able to light up…
Glenelg won’t enforce beach smoking ban
April 3, 2013
By SEAN McCOMISH
SMOKERS will be able to light up on the Cape Bridgewater foreshore after Glenelg Shire voted down a motion to enforce a smoking ban on patrolled beaches.
The decision breaks ranks with other south-west councils, including Warrnambool and Moyne which have given council officers power to slap on-the-spot fines for anyone caught with a lit cigarette between the flags.
At Glenelg’s monthly council meeting last week members also voted to hold off on spending cash on no-smoking signs at the popular Cape Bridgewater Beach.
Council chief executive Sharon Kelsey told The Standard enforcing the ban on the wide stretch of beach would cost council a small fortune and raise community expectations.
“It would be difficult for council officers to enforce it,” Ms Kelsey said.
The ban was brought in just before summer last year amid much praise from the anti-tobacco lobby.
Glenelg has just two patrolled beaches in Narrawong and Cape Bridgewater.
While lighting up will remain illegal between the flags at both beaches there won’t be a badge or fine book within sight providing little if no deterrent for would-be smokers.
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“During the season when the flags are out we wouldn’t have the resources dedicated to that,” Ms Kelsey said.
Mayor Karen Stephens also defended the move on the basis of practicality.
“If the council was to enforce the amendment, the cost of installing ‘no smoking’ signage and employing local laws officers to patrol the beaches would be a burden to ratepayers that council believes is unnecessary,” Cr Stephens said.
“The legislation does not oblige council to appoint inspectors, nor is council obliged to erect the signage.”