Editor-In-Chief: Charbel Baini

SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE Brief speech on a Bill prohibiting smoking

The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps's act is a hard joke to follow, so I will be serious. I add my voice to support the Tobacco Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 and to make a brief contribution to the debate. The objects of the bill include:
(a) to amend the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 to extend the prohibition on smoking in enclosed public places so that from 7 January 2013 smoking will be prohibited in the following outdoor public places:
(i) within 10 metres of children's play equipment,
(ii) a swimming pool complex,
(iii) a spectator area at a sports ground or other recreational area being used for an organised sporting event,
(iv) public transport stops and stations (including ferry wharves and taxi ranks),
(v) within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a building (with effect from 6 July 2015 for licensed premises and restaurants under the Liquor Act 2007),
(vi) a commercial outdoor dining area (with effect from 6 July 2015)
I note that the date is immediately after the next State election. The objects continue:
(vii) a place at a public hospital, health institution or health service designated as a smoke-free area by a by-law or regulation under the Health Services Act 1997,
(viii) any other place prescribed by the regulations
I support the objects of the bill and state my support and that of my colleagues for the move to protect workers in The Star casino high rollers room. In that regard, I echo the sentiments of members in this House and the other place. The New South Wales Opposition is concerned about the exemption afforded to the high rollers room in The Star casino and calls for the exemption to be removed. As my Labor colleagues in the other place—Tania Mihailuk, the shadow Minister for Healthy Lifestyles, Nathan Rees, the member for Toongabbie, and Dr Andrew McDonald, the member for Macquarie Fields—have stated, this is an occupational health and safety issue. Workers in the high rollers room at The Star casino are being subjected to an unsafe level of passive smoking. These workers should be protected and should not be exposed to harmful smoke. It is the responsibility of all decision-makers to protect these workers.
We all want the cessation of smoking. Three members of my family are heavy smokers. Unfortunately, one has developed emphysema, one coughs heavily and the other spends hundreds of dollars a month on smoking rather than on his children and his health. I congratulate the Minister, Jillian Skinner, on the introduction of this bill. She stated:
The facts about the impact of smoking on our community are clear. Smoking is the leading cause of premature death and disability in New South Wales. The social cost of smoking in New South Wales is over $8 billion annually, including costs to government, to individuals and to business. Smoking accounts for around 5,200 deaths and about 44,000 hospitalisations in New South Wales every year.
A number of outdoor dining establishments continue to allow smoking. People should be able to dine in outdoor areas with their family and friends and not be subjected to passive smoke, which we know can kill. Smoking is prevalent in the Indigenous community, as Dr John Kaye and the Hon. Marie Ficarra have alluded to. It is also prevalent in migrant and new Australian communities. I recall on occasions such as celebrations and funerals a variety of tobacco products being made available to guests. It is a cultural practice that is now diminishing, and I am glad that is the case. Many businesses and restaurants thrive on customers smoking, particularly those that offer the hubble-bubble, the argile or the water pipe. I am glad that these commercial outlets will have enough time between now and 2015 to make the necessary amendments to their business practices to ensure they can survive under the legislation. I hope the Government fully explains the policy and new law, which will prohibit tobacco use in outdoor dining from July 2015. I support the bill with the amendment to be introduced by the Opposition.


The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC.
Level 11, Room 1116.
Parliament of New South Wales
Parliament House
Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia

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