Smoking will be banned in a redeveloped Crown Street Mall and Wollongong City Council-owned outdoor dining areas from the end of next year.
The decision was made after a Wollongong City Council survey found 80 per cent of people supported plans to ban smoking in the mall and 85 per cent supported plans to ban smoking from outdoor dining areas.
On Monday night Wollongong councillors voted 9-2 to make Crown St Mall a smoke-free zone from the start of summer 2013-14, which will coincide with the completion of the first stage of the mall refurbishment.
The council will phase in bans on smoking in council-owned alfresco dining areas as licences are renewed from January 1, 2013, for introduction on January 1, 2014.
The council survey found while the majority of residents opposed smoking in the mall, 57 per cent were in support of a designated smoking area in the mall.
However, a report from council staff said a designated smoking area was not considered feasible due to the constraints of NSW Government Legislation to be introduced on January 7, which prohibits smoking within four metres of the entrance or exit of any building the public can access.
"Also allowing smoking in some areas and not others creates a mixed message which may cause some confusion," the report said.
Despite this Cr Ann Martin attempted to have a smoking area in the mall included in the proposal saying she was speaking for people who "will not and cannot" give up smoking.
She said a total ban could "alienate" some people from the mall.
However, Cr Bede Crasnich, a smoker for five years, said there was no excuse for anyone to be against plans to ban smoking from the mall.
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