Signs outlawing smoking will be erected at Blue Mountains bus stops and some of Katoomba’s most popular tourist sites, after a majority decision by Blue Mountains City councillors.
Independent councillor Robert Stock, whose ward covers Katoomba, said he was tired of seeing cigarette butts at Echo Point, the train station bus stop and on the route to the new Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.
Deputy Mayor Mark Greenhill, a self-admitted reformed smoker, said second hand smoke was the issue.
“When one has the occasional glass of wine, one occasionally takes it up with gusto as though one never stopped ... but the point is smoking is a very deadly game and second hand smokers have no choice.”
“All levels of government should team up to get rid of Big Tobacco.”
Greens Clr Geordie Willamson also supported erecting the No Smoking signs even though he did have “a small libertarian twinge ... if we want to make smoking incredibly sexy to youth I suggest prohibition is the way to go about it”.
Clr Brendan Christie, who admitted after the council meeting he was trying to kick his smoking habit, said council was overstepping the mark.
“I do not believe I can support the motion, when the government starts infringing on people’s civil liberties where does it stop, when do they start saying you can’t smoke in your own house?”
Clr Chris Van der Kley was the only other councillor out of 12 who voted against the decision, saying the State Government should bear the cost.
“It’s a great idea but we shouldn’t be paying for it.”
The No Smoking signs will be fixed to 20 existing sign poles at the most heavily used bus stops in the Mountains. The cost and number of the signs was not disclosed at the meeting.
The NSW Government laws in relation to smoking in public places came into effect on January 7 this year. The State Government is only paying for signs at train stations.