A PITCH to ban smoking in Port Fairy’s town centre has been made to Moyne Shire councillors.
Nearly 20 traders have backed a proposal to trial a smoking ban in public along key sections of Bank and Sackville streets.
But councillors gave the idea a sober assessment last week, doubting whether such a large blanket ban could be enforced, particularly at peak tourist times.
Petition organiser Michael Price told councillors the idea could be policed.
“There is also documented evidence of other cities and municipalities in Victoria implementing similar proposals,” Mr Price said.
“I would also recommend it be introduced on a trial basis.”
The petition has gathered up to 40 signatures.
It is the second such effort by Mr Price to get council interested in the issue.
“I am quite surprised and quite overwhelmed by the support I got from traders to push this through,” Mr Price said.
He suggested the ban only be applied to the central sections of the two busiest streets.
“Just the main areas where the public reside,” Mr Price said.
But several councillors questioned whether the ban could be practically implemented.
Cr Anthony Keane asked how the ban could be enforced among swelling tourist numbers during summer and the Folk Festival.
“On New Year’s Eve, if you’ve got 900 people smoking how are you going to stop them,” Cr Keane said.
Mr Price said the pubs already had smoking areas for patrons.
“It’s not going to be able to be policed 100 per cent but hopefully it will slow it down,” Mr Price said.
Cr Jim Doukas also questioned if the ban would extend to people in cars.
“Some people are pretty determined to have a fag,” Cr Doukas said.
Mr Price said cars could not be included in the trial.
In March Warrnambool City Council rolled out some of Victoria’s toughest anti-smoking laws, banning cigarettes at all the city’s sport venues and ovals.
Mayor James Purcell said the petition would sit with council for a month to be discussed in councillor workshops.
“The next thing to decide is whether we entertain the petition or let it lapse,” Cr Purcell said on Thursday.