The state’s new smoking restrictions could be taken to the next level in the Macedon Ranges.
As of today the state government has banned smoking in all outdoor venues where food is served – including privately-owned beer gardens and balconies.
State legislation will allow venues to designate areas to smoking and drinking only, and have the flexibility to change the status of outdoor areas to smoking and non-smoking at different times.
But Macedon Ranges council’s draft Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy is proposing a complete ban of smoking at venues that serve food and drink on council land.
It would mean venues that have outdoor spaces only on the footpath would be forced to become 100 per cent smoke-free.
Manager of Gisborne’s The Jolly Miller, Brittany Klaaysen, said the cafe supported a smoking ban.
Ms Klaaysen said the ban would “probably” affect a number of customers, but she hoped it would not deter them from attending the cafe.
“We do have a lot of regular customers who come and have a coffee and a smoke outside.”
Woodend’s Bourkies Bakery manager Adam Bourke said he was “all for” a ban on smoking in the bakery’s outside seating area.
“It’s not going to hurt you to walk 20 metres around the corner, then come and sit down and have your meal,” Mr Bourke said. “I prefer that people don’t smoke because of the mess it leaves on the ground and the smell for the other customers.”
Many pubs and restaurants will be unaffected by the ban as they have courtyards and beer gardens on private land.
They will only be subject to the state laws.
But the council said its proposed ban would affect an estimated 60 businesses across the Macedon Ranges.
Council community safety acting manager Karen Dunstan said the council was making health a priority.
“We live in a society where there is still very much a social connection between drinking and smoking and this exposes staff and patrons to harmful secondhand smoke,” Ms Dunstan said.
“And it doesn’t provide a supportive environment for those trying to quit.”
The new policy is open for public comment until Friday, September 1.
Visit mrsc.vic.gov.au/yoursay to give feedback.