Cigarette butt-out bins, signs to start Gunnedah smoke-free policy

Conadilly Street in Gunnedah (pictured centre) will soon be part of a new smoke-free zone. Photo: Phil Thomas
Conadilly Street in Gunnedah (pictured centre) will soon be part of a new smoke-free zone. Photo: Phil Thomas

A smoke-free main street in Gunnedah could soon be one step closer as council proposes to allocate more than $5000 in capital to start the project.

Council proposed in February to extend the smoke-free zone in Conadilly Street to include areas from Tempest to Henry streets. The proposal was given the green light after another round of public consultation.

Now the first funds to implement the policy have been recommend for approval, including $6500 in capital expenditure for installation of signage and cigarette butt-out bins.

A further $1000 per year has been forecast to maintain the infrastructure, while enforcement of the smoke-free policy will cost council a further $4000 each year – this amount has been budgeted under the salary of a council compliance officer.

A question was raised at council’s April ordinary meeting about the upkeep of existing butt-out bins and repair of those already vandalised.

Council’s director of infrastructure services Wayne Kerr said the stainless steel bins “are not cheap”.

Darren Mulherin suggested alternative smoking areas within the smoke-free zone be provided. He thought designated smoking areas like those in Japan, would be a good compromise. 

Other residents thought more assistance to help people in the community quit smoking, would be also a good idea.

Ben Nicholas said signs were a good idea. But he went a step further and suggested signs in venues where cigarettes are sold, could help with policy enforcement.

On Wednesday councillors will vote on the recommendation to source capital and maintenance funds for the policy from council’s general fund.