Centennial Park smoking ban mooted

By Chris Thomson | posted on October 6, 2018

ONE footy and two soccer groups have backed a draft policy proposing that game day smokers be banished to nine cigarette spots on the fringe of Albany’s vast Centennial Park sporting precinct.

In a report to be considered by a City committee on October 9, community engagement manager Julie-Ann Gray recommends a ban be slapped on smoking across the precinct that includes Centennial Stadium, and Albany’s main cricket, hockey, athletics and soccer and swimming facilities.

While Ms Gray believes there is a ‘medium’ risk that local media outlets will spread a perception of ‘over-policing’, she recommends that a media blitz follow in the wake of a February 2019 launch of the ban.

She further recommends that venue staff report on patrons’ “smoking/ non-smoking behaviour” and the City conduct an “audit” of cigarette butts before and after the ban’s introduction.

Ms Gray expects the ban will cost $23,000 to implement, including $6000 for radio advertisements and $3500 for cinema ads. Newspaper ads are also proposed.

Albany Sharks Football Club President Geoff Oldfield has offered his organisation’s “support in principle to having the Centennial sporting complex made a smoke free zone”.

“I would like to see sensible designated smoking areas with butt bins to accommodate smokers away from the main buildings and high use areas,” he told the City’s recreation services manager Samantha Stevens.

Great Southern Soccer Association Registrar Jos Pass has told Ms Stevens she supports a ban on smoking, except in designated areas as proposed under the policy, “if there needs to be such areas”.

Meanwhile, Albany Junior Soccer Association President Grace Knowlson has asked the City to prohibit smoking at all playing pitches, clubrooms and canteens when sport is being played.

Under the policy, Centennial Stadium and the 11 sports fields that surround it on the eastern side of the Lockyer Avenue/North Road intersection will have just two designated smoking areas.

The policy would also prohibit smoking at all outdoor events run by the City, and in and around Albany’s library, visitor centre, town hall, airport, Anzac Centre and Vancouver Arts Centre.

Ms Gray recommends that $6750 be spent on the erection of 27 ‘You can’t smoke here’ signs, and $2000 on eight ‘You can smoke here’ signs.