December 27, 2010 - Waverley Council is reminding beachgoers that smoking is banned on the sand on all our beaches, and urging people to do the right thing or risk facing a heavy fine for lighting up on the beach. (No smoking on Waverleys beaches, Waverly Council News 2010.)
Now we find that anti-smoking rules on some of Sydney's most famous beaches are nothing but hot air, with at least one council claiming its rangers are powerless to enforce the ban. Waverley Council, which set the no-smoking rule on Bondi Beach in 2004, told The Sunday Telegraph it had not issued a single fine since the ban was introduced because it did not know whether its rangers had the power to demand someone's identification.
A related news brief:
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When The Sunday Telegraph visited Bondi Beach last week, it had no trouble finding scores of people lighting up on the famous stretch of sand. While Waverley rangers take a soft approach, a spokesman for Local Government Minister Barbara Perry said council rangers could, in fact, not only demand a person's name and address, but they could also physically detain them if they didn't comply.
At Manly, where smoking is banned on the beach and in The Corso, the council has issued three $110 fines in the past 12 months for people smoking on the beac (the only fines). A spokesman for Manly Council said its rangers preferred to "educate" people rather than fine them and had never detained anyone who refused to give their name and address to rangers. "The the ranger would identify themselves and ask for the person's identification, and if they refused or the situation escalated, they would call the police," he said.
Smokers in Mosman have been banned since 2004 from lighting up in al fresco dining areas and within 10m of council owned buildings. In 2007, the Mosman ban was extended to cover parks, public squares, bus shelters and beaches.
Reference: Smoke screen on Sydney beaches by JESSE PHILLIPS, The Sunday Telegraph, 12/26/2010.
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