City of Wodonga

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Smoking bans frequently asked questions

On April 1, 2014 new smoking bans came into effect prohibiting smoking within 10 metres (about two car lengths) of:


Why have these bans come into effect?

The bans intend to:

  1. Create a smoke-free place where children and young people play and enjoy themselves without being exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke;
  2. Help de-normalise smoking behaviour;
  3. Encourage smokers to quit and help ex-smokers from relapsing; and,
  4. Reduce environmental damage from butt littering.

In general, the community support smoking bans in public places regularly attended by children. It is expected most people will voluntarily comply and will expect others to also comply.


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What are the penalties?

Council inspectors, authorised under the Tobacco Act 1987, will be able to provide information to ensure smokers understand the bans. They will also be able to issue fines of one penalty unit. Under section 36C of the Tobacco Act 1987 on the production of the inspector’s identification card, authorised officers may request a person’s name and address. A person who refuses or fails to comply or provides incorrect information is liable to a fine of one penalty unit or five penalty units if imposed by a Magistrates’ Court.

No enforcement action will be taken against minors (i.e. under the age of 18 years).


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Children’s play equipment

Where does the 10 metres start from?

It starts from the edge of the play equipment such as swings, climbing frames and slides and includes outdoor dining and drinking areas, barbecues, tables and chairs, stationary cars in car parks located within the 10 metres are also included in the ban.

Where don’t the bans apply?

They do not apply to residential premises that fall within the 10 metres, a motor vehicle that is driving past the children’s playground or in an area separated from the children’s playground by a road.    

They do not include exercise facilities and equipment such as chin-up bars and sit up benches in outdoor public areas.


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Public swimming pool facilities

Where does the ban apply?

They apply to an outdoor area of a public swimming pool centre to which members of the public ordinarily have access whether or not they are required to pay a fee. The outdoor area is considered to constitute the area that lies within the external perimeter of the centre that is not enclosed. They do include outdoor dining and drinking areas associated with a kiosk or cafe within the external perimeter of the public swimming pool centre.

Where don’t the bans apply?

The bans do not apply to swimming pools on residential land, within hotels, hot springs or day spas.


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Skate parks

What is considered a skate park?

Outdoor skate parks are outdoor facilities designed and equipped with structures for rollerblading, rollerskating, skateboarding, BMX tracks or other non–motorised scooters;

Where do the bans apply?

The bans apply from within 10 metres of the outer edge. They apply to outdoor dining and drinking areas situated within the 10 metres and ban smoking in stationary cars parked in car parks within the 10 metres.

Where don’t the bans apply?

They do not apply to residential premises, motor vehicles driving past or an area separated from a skate park by a road.


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Outdoor sporting venues during organised underage sporting events

What is an underage sporting event?

A sporting event is a match, game, tournament or race or other event that involves the playing of or participation in sport. “Organised underage sporting event” is defined as a sporting event that is:

  • Planned in advance;
  • Is organised or intended for, or predominantly participated in by persons under the age of 18 years;
  • Is conducted according to established rules by a professional or amateur body or by an education institution; and,
  • may be a one-off event or part of a series of events.

To be an organised sporting event it must be apparent there is a professional or amateur sporting body or an educational institution conducting the event and the predominance of players are under the age of 18 years. It should be supervised (e.g. coach, umpire or official) and participants wearing sporting uniforms. Examples of organised under age sporting event include a little athletics meeting, junior football, interschool sporting event.

What is considered a sporting venue or training session?

A sporting venue is defined as a playing field, track, arena, court or rink, permanent or temporarily erected public seating at the venue, seating, marshalling area, warm-up area, podium or other part of the venue reserved for the use of competitors or officials.

A training or practice session is characterised by:

  • Being formal, planned or organised;
  • Being conducted by a sporting body/association/club or educational institution;
  • Having supervised or coaching undertaken;
  • The presence of sporting uniforms or indications of sporting clubs; and,
  • The evidence of sporting equipment.

Sporting venues include seating or other areas used by competitors or officials at the sporting venue.

Where and when do the bans apply?

The 10-metre ban is measured from the boundary or perimeter of the playing field, track or court, any permanent or temporary seating, any marshalling area, warm-up area or podium or pavilion and any part of the venue reserved for use by the competitors or officials. Bans apply to an outdoor sporting venue that is a public place during an organised underage sporting event. It applies to training and practice sessions, at breaks or intervals during the course of the organised underage sporting event, to outdoor venues to which the public ordinarily has access, such as ovals, courts located in public parks and reserves.

The bans also apply to outdoor dining and drinking areas and persons sitting in a parked car within the 10 metres of the sporting venue during underage sporting events.

When do the bans not apply?

They do not apply to persons smoking on residential premises or land within the 10 metres, within a passing motor vehicle, in an area (e.g. a footpath) that is separated from the sporting venue by a road.

Sporting events within school grounds are covered by the education department policy.


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Where can I get further information?

Further information can be found on the Victorian Department of Health website at health.vic.gov.au/tobaccoreforms


Last updated: 20/05/2014

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