Why were these draft Smoke Free policies developed?

Council plays a significant role in the promotion of health and wellbeing in the community, with a commitment to improving the natural environment and amenity of the city through reducing the community’s exposure to passive smoking in public areas.

In 2013, a report was prepared on the benefits and implications of making the Arts Precinct, or areas within, non-smoking areas. The report also outlined the outcomes of previous Council reports relating to outdoor non-smoking areas. Following this, Council undertook community engagement regarding a proposal to make the Arts Precinct, or parts thereof, a smoke-free zone, the results of which have helped to inform the development of the draft Wollongong Arts Precinct Smoke Free Policy.

Crown Street Mall became a smoke-free zone on 1 November 2013 and since this time, Council has undertaken a range of initiatives, worked with a range of stakeholders and developed a number of partnerships to run educational and promotional campaigns. A review of the effectiveness of this approach has found it has had a positive impact on reducing smoker non-compliance, but that there is a community expectation that Council implement enforcement measures when required.

The draft Crown Street Mall Smoke Free Policy and draft Wollongong Arts Precinct Smoke Free Policy enable continued education and promotion of smoke-free zones and include the capacity for enforcement, with the view that these policies will be supported by the community self-policing in the first instance.

What area does the draft Crown St Mall Smoke Free Policy cover?

'Crown Street Mall’ refers to Council road situated on Crown Street between Keira and Kembla Streets, Crown and Church Street, Globe Lane and Globe Way. The map below details the boundaries of the Crown Street Mall for the purposes of the Smoke-Free Policy.

What area does the draft Wollongong Arts Precinct Smoke Free Policy cover?

The Arts Precinct is defined as:

  1. The Town Hall, including the entrance and paved forecourt area bordered by Crown Street and Kembla Street
  2. The Wollongong Art Gallery including the entrance bordered by Burelli Street and Kembla Street
  3. Illawarra Performing Arts Centre bordered by Burelli Street and Town Hall Place
  4. The open space including the grassed area and seating between Burelli Street and the rear of the Wollongong Art Gallery and Illawarra Performing Arts Centre
  5. The laneway between Town Hall and the Wollongong Art Gallery
  6. Town Hall Place
  7. Ethel Hayton Walk
The map below details the boundaries of the Arts Precinct:

Who has Council engaged in the development of the draft Smoke Free policies?

For the development of the Crown St Mall Smoke Free Policy, Council has involved a number of stakeholders, including:

  • City Centre Security
  • Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District – Health Promotions
  • Smoke Free Illawarra (SFI)
  • NSW Health
  • NSW Health Enforcement Team
  • Heart Foundation
  • The Cancer Council NSW
  • Healthy Cities Illawarra
  • Retailers and businesses in Crown Street Mall
  • Outdoor dining licensees

For the development of the Wollongong Arts Precinct Smoke Free Policy, the community were engaged through an intercept survey undertaken in the Arts Precinct during July and August 2014. Surveys were undertaken at a variety of days, times and locations in the Arts Precinct to reflect the various usage of the space. The feedback received from the community, along with advice from NSW Health and Council reports relating to other outdoor smoke-free areas, have helped to inform the development of the policy. Council is now placing the draft Wollongong Arts Precinct Smoke Free Policy on public exhibition so as to seek further feedback from the community.

What does the law say about smoking in outdoor public spaces?

The Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 bans smoking in the following outdoor public places: 

  • Within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in outdoor public places;
  • Public swimming pools;
  • Spectator areas at sports grounds or other recreational areas used for organised sporting events;
  • Public transport stops and platforms; including ferry wharves and taxi ranks;
  • Within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a public building; 
  • From 6 July 2015, in commercial outdoor dining areas.
The Arts Precinct and Crown Street Mall are multi-functional public spaces with buildings, cafes, restaurants, open spaces, children's play equipment and bus stops. Within the Arts Precinct and Crown Street Mall, there are a number of areas covered by the NSW legislation as follows:

  • Within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in outdoor public places
  • Public transport stops and platforms;
  • Within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a public building; 
  • From 6 July 2015, in commercial outdoor dining areas
NSW Health is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Smoke-Free Environment Act 2000. NSW Health Inspectors are authorised to enforce bans on smoking under the Act.

How else can I have my say?

Email: engagement@wollongong.nsw.gov.au

Fax: (02) 4227 7580

Write to: 
General Manager
Wollongong City Council
Locked Bag 8821 WOLLONGONG DC NSW 2500