From the ABC news service – article here – the ACT legislative assembly has earlier today passed the proposed legislation to ban smoking in outdoor cafe and restaurant areas.
What annoys me personally (although im sure many RA’ers will love this) is this particular bit of the legislation as quoted from the article:
“Pubs and clubs however will be able to designate an outdoor smoking area of no more than 50 per cent of their outdoor space.”
Ms Gallagher says food and drink will not be permitted in the designated smoking areas and people under the age of 18 will not be allowed in.
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So you won’t be able to smoke while drinking a beer or other beverage of any type in an outdoor area of a licensed venue anymore in 12 months time, even if the venue does not serve food.
That has to be the most tight-arsed anti-smoking laws in the country, sure I am a smoker, and I can even support the cafe/restaurant outdoor eating area aspect of this legislation, when in that situation I normally walk away to an open area anyway so as to not be smoking near people eating. To ban it in a licensed venue such as a pub or a club though, even if the venue is licensed for consumption of alcohol in that area (such as in internal beer garden as opposed to the public footpath), unless they also serve food in that area is just ridiculous.
The other aspect to this legislation is the fact that it is the last act in moving all smokers out of a designated smoking area onto the footpaths and streets, where sooner or later a vehicle accident or simply a fight on a crowded footpath results in someone being seriously injured as a result of this legislation, something highlighted to a certain extent by the Opposition, as quoted in the article:
The Opposition supported the legislation in general but health spokesman Jeremy Hanson raised some concerns.
“My concern is this will force smokers onto pavements rather than in designated smoking areas,” he said.
“If that happens then that will be a negative consequence.”
So smokers in 12 months time if you want to enjoy a drink and smoke outside, just remember NSW doesn’t have dracanion legislation like this and Queanbeyan has at least 1 nice venue with a beer garden you can smoke in.