Statewide ban may be objective down the road
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/18/2013 -- Victoria officials will hope to spread its smoking ban to children's playgrounds, skate parks, and sporting facilities all across the region, according to a statement made by the government.
Health Minister David Davis noted that he hoped to be able to bring the laws before parliament later in the year after consulting local councils and various sporting groups.
"This is a further, sensible step in a long line of tobacco initiatives," he said. "These measures are targeted to protect families and protect children.”
Davis stated that the laws would be enforced by local governments, and not merely by state or federal agencies, and that the persons who violate the laws could face fines of $140.
The government announced a ban on smoking between flags or within 50 meters of them on patrolled beaches, in a maneuver last November to help stamp out the use of the tobacco products.
Davis said that his government would be working to make further announcements on particular smoking control measures, but could not and would not commit to a state-wide ban on smoking in dining areas that are situated outdoors. Health groups have been calling for intensive bans for some time, which would remove smoking rights on trains and on Australian state and territory building sites.
West Gippsland's Baw Baw Shire is still the only council to introduce bans on smoking in outdoor dining facilities. The move came only after a year-long trial.
Greens MP, Colleen Harland, stated that a ban of such a magnitude in Victoria would be needed to avoid confusion created by local councils when it was attempted to be introduced. She also announced a private member's bill to Parliament that would ban smoking in outdoor areas in Victoria, which is up for debate within the next few months, though a direct date has not been set.
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