Bid for smoking ban at Koombana

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
A family play cricket at Koombana Bay on Boxing Day.
Camera IconA family play cricket at Koombana Bay on Boxing Day. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock / South Western Times

A Bunbury city councillor will make an ambitious move to ban smoking at the Koombana Bay foreshore.

Cr Brendan Kelly will next week put forward a motion for the council to develop a local law that would ban the smoking of tobacco products at the newly-developed family and tourist area.

Cr Kelly says the council would “send a message” to the community and visitors that Bunbury supports a healthy, smoke-free lifestyle by bringing in the law.

But policing local laws around smoking has been a sticking point for the council in the past and it is expected it will instead be recommended to request chief executive Mal Osborne to develop a policy regarding the restriction of smoking in public places as an “interim measure”.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


Cr Kelly says the alternative option was “good” as a longer-term strategy, but his motion was more immediate.

“I see it as being a win in the short-term – this is low hanging fruit, Koombana Bay,” Cr Kelly told the South Western Times.

“Mine would immediately brand Koombana Bay as a family-friendly, outdoors, safe and healthy destination, where as the executive recommendation – which I believe has got quite some merit – is a longer term strategy to help address the issues of tobacco smoking in and around Bunbury.”

It is already illegal for people to smoke within 10m of playgrounds, like the one at Koombana Bay.
Camera IconIt is already illegal for people to smoke within 10m of playgrounds, like the one at Koombana Bay. Credit: Supplied

Mayor Gary Brennan earlier this year ruled out any suggestions the council would look at following in Cottesloe Town Council’s footsteps after it voted in new restrictions around smoking at its beaches.

Mr Brennan previously conceded it would be difficult to police and said while he “abhors” smoking, he respected people to make choices for themselves.

Cr Kelly said yesterday that public education and the “general push” to prevent smoking in public places would “allow for a level of community acceptability”.

“I think generally people in Western Australia are reasonable and if they are, and I suspect they are reasonable, then there’ll be a certain degree of self-regulation about it,” he said.

“So I think that people, if they’re well informed and there will be signage – hopefully dolphin friendly signage, something that brings it to people’s attention but doesn’t look like a sign so to speak – I think that people will respect other people’s spaces and if we publicise it widely that it is a non-smoking beach, I think in the majority of cases people will respect that.”

He said it was an opportunity to brand Koombana Bay.

“It’s an opportunity to brand one of Bunbury’s prime facilities as a family-friendly, healthy and safe destination,” he said.

“Given we have a brand new Koombana Bay development, it’s very popular, high usage, lots of families, it would be appropriate to have it as a non-smoking area.

“Given the nature of Koombana Bay and what’s already there and the fact that it is a family beach and facility, I thought it’s a good idea not to have tobacco smoking there.”

He said it would complement tobacco laws which prevent people smoking 10m within a children’s playground, 5m within eating places and between the flags at beaches.

The council will vote on the motion next week.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails