Butt ban may be over-reach­ing

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

DEPART­MENT of Local Gov­ern­ment (DoLG) ad­vice in three parts has told Cottes­loe Coun­cil it may have to butt out of amend­ing local laws to ef­fec­tively ban smok­ing on the town’s 4.5km of beaches.

“Point three is more prob­lem­atic and raises sig­nif­i­cant doubt that Coun­cil will re­ceive the nec­es­sary ap­proval from the Joint Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Delegated Leg­is­la­tion, as the pro­posed amend­ment cur­rently stands,” a coun­cil staff re­port said last month.

Since last sum­mer, Cr Sally Pyvis has lob­bied to re­duce cig­a­rette butt lit­ter and all beach­go­ers’ ex­po­sure to smoke, and un­til July seven pub­lic sub­mis­sions were in favour of amend­ing the town’s Prop­erty Local Law to ban smok­ing on beaches and nearby re­serves.

How­ever, the Depart­ment said any new law must be writ­ten in an ac­cept­able for­mat and it chal­lenged whether all the beaches were in the coun­cil’s bound­ary.

It said the stand­ing com­mit­tee may not ap­prove the change be­cause it may be an “in­ap­pro­pri­ate” use of the coun­cil’s pow­ers.

“It’s not an is­sue about whether the Depart­ment of Local Gov­ern­ment feels smok­ing should be banned on beaches, but whether a local gov­ern­ment has the power to ban,” coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Mat Hum­frey said,

Send­ing the amended local law to the com­mit­tee could cost $8000 and take up to six months.

Mr Hum­frey said staff could in­ves­ti­gate how to get the State Gov­ern­ment to ban smok­ing on all beaches in WA.

“I fail to un­der­stand why we would be out there lob­by­ing for bans else­where,” Cr Mark Rodda said.

It was agreed to take the Depart­ment’s ad­vice, and hire a con­sul­tant to draft an “om­nibus” new local law that would cover the DoLG’s is­sues be­fore it is re­con­sid­ered in Fe­bru­ary.

The om­nibus amend­ment to local laws would ex­tend to the coun­cil’s mar­itime ju­ris­dic­tion 200m off­shore.

A Depart­ment spokes­woman said its ad­vice was based on other local gov­ern­ments’ pro­posed laws ban­ning plas­tic bags and cats, and pre­vi­ous local anti-smok­ing laws. “It is un­cer­tain whether the com­mit­tee would ac­cept a local law that went fur­ther and at­tempted to ban smok­ing from gen­eral pub­lic ar­eas,” she said.

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