Coun­cils shut smoke loop­hole

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Ian Pater­son

CRAFTY cafe own­ers try­ing to cir­cum­vent new smok­ing bans around Mt Druitt and St Marys could lose more than just cus­tomers look­ing for a smoke-free place to eat.

It was re­vealed last week that some cafes across Syd­ney were ex­ploit­ing a loop­hole in the new leg­is­la­tion.

To sat­isfy smok­ers, some cafe own­ers were not serv­ing food in out­door ar­eas, al­low­ing pa­trons to puff away, which is per­mis­si­ble ac­cord­ing to Ne­pean Blue Moun­tains Lo­cal Health Dis­trict di­rec­tor public health Dr Bradley Forss­man.

“How­ever, un­der these cir­cum­stances the own­ers must put up manda­tory sig­nage. The smok­ing area must also be at least 4m from any public en­try and 4m from other din­ing ar­eas, and own­ers must take rea­son­able steps to en­sure that peo­ple do not con­sume food in such an area,” Dr Forss­man said.

But any cafes think­ing of do­ing the same in Mt Druitt or St Marys will have to think twice, with Black­town and Pen­rith coun­cils pour­ing cold wa­ter on the idea.

“If a res­tau­rant ceased to use its out­door din­ing area for din­ing, it would lose the per­mit. Nor can the area be used for any other pur­pose,” a Black­town Coun­cil spokesman said.

All out­door din­ing ar­eas must per­mit food, a Pen­rith Coun­cil spokesman said.

“If the op­er­a­tor ceases to serve food to cus­tomers in the out­door area, then coun­cil may ter­mi­nate the li­cence,” he said.

This clar­i­fi­ca­tion ef­fec­tively closes the loop­hole.

Health of­fi­cers are re­spon­si­ble for en­forc­ing the laws, and cus­tomers can also dob in venues that are not com­ply­ing with the new rules.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.