Councillor hints at expanded smoking ban

An extended outdoor smoking ban in Melbourne’s CBD could be on the cards, following a successful trial in a popular laneway, with one Labor councillor hinting at an imminent policy announcement.Melbourne City Councillor Richard Foster has been thrilled by a trial smoking ban at alfresco dining areas on The Causeway, which runs between Little Collins St and Bourke St Mall.“I’ve received a report telling me that basically things are going very, very well,” he told Represent.“I’ll be looking at what to do with the overwhelming success of this trial within the next two weeks.”Cr Foster says 17 businesses on The Causeway have reported an increase or no change in takings since the trial began in October, while only two businesses have experienced a small downturn. The number of young families dining in the area has also increased during the trial, he says.“People are telling us loud and clear, this is something they’ve been wanting for a long time,” he said.Cr Foster has previously called for a total outdoor smoking ban in the city, but says the state government must also take action.“Something like this would be most effective if it was statewide,” he said.The trial ban will continue in The Causeway until March.Listen to Represent’s special health episode here.Eddie Williams

January 13th 2014
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