SMOKE FREE: Eight new areas marked on Fraser Coast
THINKING about lighting up near the Brolga Theatre or Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre? Think again - they're two areas that have been designated smoke-free by the Fraser Coast Regional Council.
Councillors voted unanimously for eight new areas across the Fraser Coast to be introduced as smoke-free at their ordinary meeting on Wednesday, as part of amendments to the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 that changed in September 2016.
The motion means the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre and Community Centre, WetSide, Fraser Coast Cultural Centre, Urangan Pier and Pier Park, the Brolga Theatre, Anzac Park, Brendan Hansen Park and Queens Park have all been designated as smoke-free zones.
Council plans to issue fines to people who continue to smoke in these areas once local laws have been amended in 2018.
But councillor Rolf Light said the enforcement would come from locals.
"If those areas are designated not to be smoking, it seems to be nearly enforced by other people there.
"It's something that is abhorrent and very confronting with smoke when you're not used to it,” he said.
Cr Anne Maddern said they were sharing a state government pool of funding with the Bundaberg council.
"Some of the money we have received has been pooled with Bundaberg Regional Council in order to maximise the amount of media coverage from the promotion,” she said.
As part of the motion, a $50,000 state government grant will be spent on "implementing strategies that support the transition to smoke-free public places,” Cr Maddern said.
A spokesperson from the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service said the public health unit was working with the council about the roll-out of new smoking legislation.