Beach signs not yet a smoke ban

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Smoking is set to be banned from Koombana Bay.
Camera IconSmoking is set to be banned from Koombana Bay. Credit: Supplied / City of Bunbury

Signs discouraging smoking along the Koombana Bay foreshore will be erected as Bunbury City Council continues to develop a local law to ban the habit all together.

The council in June supported banning smoking at the popular family beach and staff have been developing the new local law.

In an update to the council, staff say they had hoped the law would be completed by August but complexities in drafting the document have held it up.

The council will next week be recommended to include the law in its broader property local law.

During a briefing session this week, the suggestion raised concerns with Cr Brendan Kelly – who originally raised a motion for the council to ban smoking – who said it was “watering down” the council’s decision for a new local law.

But council staff assured Cr Kelly that including it in the council’s property local law would increase its likelihood of being approved by the State Government.

Mayor Gary Brennan told the South Western Times that developing the new law had a “fair bit of journey to go” but he was “reasonably” confident it would eventually get through.

Mr Brennan said he agreed that including it in the property local law would not water it down.

“What the staff have recommended is to actually strengthen the likelihood of it being approved by the State by incorporating it into the property local law, rather than it be a stand-alone local law,” Mr Brennan said.

“It was their suggestion and it was a good one to do that.”

As an interim measure, the council is in discussions with Cancer Council WA to erect signage at Koombana Bay.

Mr Brennan said anything that raised health awareness was a good thing.

“I’m not sure where that discussion is at with the Cancer Council, but the signage is passage signage just saying ‘we care about your health, please refrain from smoking in this area’ or words to that effect,” he said.

“So it’s not an aggressive legislative sign, it’s about encouraging people to be aware of the health hazards associated with smoking.”

Mr Brennan said “at this stage” the council was looking to ban smoking at only Koombana Bay, but it had an overall focus on the community and the environment.

“We are looking at ways we can do things better for our community,” he said.

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