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Darter

This was the Council Meeting.  The following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine.  I have not covered all items.

Smoke-Free Outdoor Environments Policy – 2 speakers spoke for the motion.  They spoke about the health impacts of smoking & said the revenue arguments should not come into it as “there is not one shred of hard data world-wide that shows a loss of income by businesses.”

Clr O’Sullivan:  Happy we have arrived at this decision as it is another step towards better public health. 36 organisations sent a written submission, 4 against & 1 half-half being supportive of some elements.  Our reputation as a 24 hours entertainment area will be enhanced. We will look at gradual community education.

Clr Olive: Against it as it currently stands. It’s good that we are giving some leadership to the community. Beer gardens & footpaths have become defacto smoking areas. We do have to consider children & give a good example. He had amendments to outdoor dining venues, not while junior games are underway,& wanted 2 points deferred to get a list of Council funded events & functions.

Seen on a t-shirt

Clr Thanos: For the amendment, but against the Motion. Said he was aware of residents from a NESB who smoke & those residents who have mental health issues. We will be penalizing these people with a blanket ban. No problem restricting with children, near playgroups & alfresco dining areas. Will oppose any move to fine businesses who have patrons smoking on the footpath because it’s difficult for them to impose Council’s rules.

Clr Hanna: Asked staff who will pay the fine? Staff: Individual.  Clr Hanna: Do we have the right to ask for ID? Staff:  We still have to go through details. First we will do community education.  Clr Hanna: I still don’t think it’s fair for coffee shop owners, but in favour of the Motion.  Clr Phillips:  Support the substance of the Motion & support the amendments. Added to amendment that no smoking in Council owned sports grounds during all games, except in specific areas.

Clr Macri: There are financial implications. He asked staff if the $20,000 was enough to educate  & help support shop keepers?  Staff:  It will be included in the budget. Part will be signage & stickers. The Cancer Council is our partner who have committed significant resources.  Clr Macri: Support in principle, but I am struggling to come to terms with the lifestyle changes we are asking people to make. $20,000 doesn’t seem enough money.  He put an amendment to write to the state government asking them to advance this issue to a priority level as this is multi-million dollar advertising.

Clr Kontellis: Supported the Motion. This is policy in the NFP sector & happening in other Councils & begins to shape a culture of non-smoking. Clr Wright: Support the Motion, but not the amendments. We should be doing the maximum we can. We are not going to have Rangers looking for smokers. People have accepted limitations & it’s not unreasonable if people are left smoking only in their own homes.  Mayor Byrne: Support Motion. City of Sydney Council are investigating non-smoking in their LGA.  Clr O’Sullivan: Cannot accept the amendments. Smoking may be a consolation in a bad space of life.

Foreshadowed Motion: For – Clrs Olive & Thanos.  Aganst: Clrs Iskandar, Tsardoulias, Wright, O’Sullivan, Peters, Kontellis, Phillips, Byrne, Hanna, Macri. Amendment: For – Clrs Kontellis, Phillips, Thanos & Olive.  Against – Clrs Iskandar, Tsardoulias, Wright, O’Sullivan, Peters, Byrne, Hanna, Macri.

Motion: Against – Clr Thanos. For – Clrs Iskandar, Tsardoulias, Wright, O’Sullivan, Olive, Peters, Kontellis, Phillips, Byrne, Hanna, Macri. Carried.  Marrickville LGA is now non-smoking within 10 metres of Council buildings, playgrounds, restaurants, schools & sporting events. There may be more places. Council will let the community know.

Billboard advertising – Clr Macri: This is a revenue stream for our community. Bringing it up to get a report to further the budget process. I’m not expecting these all over the streets.  For – Clrs Iskandar, Tsardoulias, Wright, Peters, Kontellis, Phillips, Byrne, Hanna, Macri.  Against – Clrs Olive & O’Sullivan. Carried.

Urgent Item of Business without Notice from Clr Tsardoulias – Illegal advertising & ‘postering’ on Railcorp property – The Motion was for Council to notify Railcorp, investigate, remove the posters & the people who put up the posters to be prosecuted.  Clr Tsardoulias wanted Council to fine the perpetrators  & remove the said posters.  (A photo of the posters was projected on the screen in Council. They were Greens Party election posters).

Mayor Byrne: Staff say because it is a substantive Motion we need to vote to see if this is urgent.  Clr Tsardoulias: It is visual pollution. That’s urgent. I want it investigated. I want the people prosecuted. I want the posters removed.

Mayor Byrne:  She pointed out the painted black line around all the posters that looked like a frame & said these were called ‘street legals’ & they are allowed to do this.  Clr Tsardoulias did not comply with the Chair’s requests for order & the Meeting was adjourned for 2 minutes on 2 occasions.

In favour of this being an urgent Motion: Clrs Tsardoulias, Wright, O’Sullivan, Hanna & Macri.  Against: Clrs Thanos, Olive, Peters, Kontellis, Phillips, Byrne.  Council did not accept the item was urgent & it was lost.

The Cooks River Valley Times wrote about this agenda item & there is a photo with the article on page 5 – http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/Valley_Times_17_March_2011/index.php

Here ends the Report for this month.

You can read Part 1 here – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/report-from-the-gallery-–-15th-march-2011-–-part-1/

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