Smoking on Sydney Beaches is Prohibited!
Waverley Council, which implemented the no-smoking rule on Bondi Beach in 2004, stated that it didn’t issued a fine since the ban was implemented, because it didn’t know if its rangers had the authority to ask someone’s identification.
However special signs where placed at Bondi Beach which inform about the ban and that smokers can risk a fine of $110 fine in case they will be caught smoking.
“It was not so easy for our rangers to implement the ban because they do not have power to ask for identification,” a Waverley Council spokeswoman stated.
“Council rangers could not only ask a person’s name and address, but also detain them if they didn’t comply. Under the Act, rangers have broader powers than simply a citizen’s arrest. They have the express authority to detain them,” stated Local Government Minister Barbara Perry.
However, usually a ranger would more than likely call the police in case the situation became aggravated, but they had the power to compulsorily demand a person’s name and address and penalize for $550 in case they refused. “If the person refuses, they have the right to call police which can detain that person,” she said.
For instance at Manly and The Corso, where smoking is prohibited on the beach, the council has issued three $110 penalizations within 12 months for people smoking on the beach.
According to representative of the Manly Council, its rangers preferred to explain people about the ban than fine them and had never detained those who rejected to give their name and address to rangers.
“The ranger would introduce themselves and ask for person’s identification, and in case they rejected or situation became aggravated, they would call the police,” he stated.
Rangers may also use their power to enforce other council regulation as for instance littering. They also have the right to confiscate recreational equipment as skating or water-based equipment, and in case the commissioner of police gives written authorization, local council rangers may validate alcohol-related provisions.
Smokers in Mosman have been prohibited to light up since 2004 in all dining areas and within 10m of council buildings. Later, in 2007, the Mosman ban was extended and already prohibited smoking in parks, public squares, bus stations and beaches.
Ms’ Perry colleague stated that rangers played a very important enforcement role.
“But if a person breaks the public peace, it is the role of the police officers to deal with this situation and not of rangers,” Ms. Perry said.
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