Brimbank council now has the power to declare areas of public space as smoke-free areas, following changes to the local laws voted in last week.

The new smoking provisions were one of 18 amendments to the laws, which were reviewed for the first time in 10 years, over the past three months.

An amendment to Clause 33 of the new local laws states: “The Council may designate any area within the Municipality to be a smoke free area.” The penalties for breaches will be up to a $400 fine.

City development director Stuart Menzies said in August that the laws were designed to give council greater options.

“While public smoking is a matter governed by legislation, the proposed new clause in the draft general local law gives council the option to regulate smoking in public areas by declaring a smoke-free area,” Mr Menzies said.

“There is no immediate plan to declare any areas. However, in a location such as a shopping strip, with a large number of alfresco dining premises among other businesses, it may be simpler and clearer for patrons to declare the area smoke free.”