Parramatta Council re-introduces smoking after petition
Local cafe owner Michael Barak collected signatures by simply putting a petition near his cash register. Barak said "I am happy for Council to stop smoking for health reasons, however, after a three month trial they are only considering if businesses are affected? not people's health."
Barak said he was not consulted by Council in the decision process, but believes the majority of businesses are happy with the decision.
A Council report has questioned the validity of the petition, with some false names and incomplete addresses being provided, however the community backlash has been swift and in numbers. The Council has criticised the legality of petition, claiming one person could have written the whole petition, however the real question is how many genuine signatures would it take for Council to overturn a decision, and where are petition guidelines listed on their website?
A council source has suggested the public to come and view the petition and make up your own mind.
Cr Michael McDermott, who originally initiated the smoking ban in July, will be at Council tonight to back a recision motion,” In the hope that common sense prevails, and Parramatta Council not be the first Council to reintroduce smoking in Australia.”
Mayor John Chedid and Cr Wearne believe the ban should not have got up in the first place, due to community consultation process being ignored.
There is no credible argument for allowing smoking in public spaces given the overwhelming scientific evidence that smoking kills you. In fact country to what publicans said that banning smoking n pubs would force them out of business, this didn’t happen, in fact there has been a increase in the numbers of people in pubs.
With 84% of the population no smoking, it appears the majority had spoken, however this didn't prevent Cr Weaken suggesting that 20% loss in customers would harm business. This suggestion implies that 20% of smokers would not visit restaurants or cafes if the ban was in place, which fly’s in the face of all facts. If we were to accept Cr Wearne argument then the 80% of people who choose not to smoke, would be a huge increase in customers if the ban were re introduced.
The cafe and restaurant owners have every right to feel nervous and fight to maintain the status quo as they know it and be afraid of losing customers if the ban is in place.
Either way local businesses will lose 50% of their customers who smoke due to dying from smoking related diseases.