Lake Macquarie Council smoke ban to widen

Lake Macquarie Council smoke ban to widen

A DRAFT policy banning smoking at Lake Macquarie City Council-owned sporting grounds and swimming pools and near children's playgrounds would be mostly "self-policed".

The policy is expected to cost more than $60,000 to fully implement.

Councillors broadly backed the policy in a resources and policy committee meeting this week, but they have yet to formally endorse it and further public consultation is to be done.

The draft was produced after councillors in August called for its development.

A new report to councillors said the proposed ban would "send a clear message" to the community about the council's commitment to improving public health, and would be rolled out in stages.

Smoking within 10 metres of playgrounds and at swimming centres would be restricted first, from March 2010.

From that October, the ban would extend to smoking within the boundaries of all sporting facilities, except for car parks that were more than 10 metres away.

The timing would depend on funding, with more than $60,000 needed for new signs at the sites.

The report said council rangers did not have the resources to enforce smoking bans across the city, and that the council should instead urge the community to "self police".

The exception would be swimming centres where staff already enforced a smoking ban.