Conceit, delusional or just limiting collateral damage

Politics is politics, but does anyone really think that the State Government’s recent announcement on selective statewide smoking bans around schools, kindergartens and playgrounds is in response
to Richard Fosters unworkable proposed CityWide blanket ban on smoking?

Richard Foster thinks so. (Twitter)

I wonder if #faillieu gov wouldve moved on smoking laws if Melb wasnt looking at wide ranging,world-leading reform. Looking to us for policy
Richard Foster (@Richo_Foster) February 7, 2013

abc.net.au/news/2013-02-0… Smoking restrictions a good thing but playing catch-up politics doesn’t go far enough. #faillieu 1/2
Richard Foster (@Richo_Foster) February 7, 2013

But #faillieu won’t support a smoking ban in alfresco dining areas.Where’s the support for smokers in his policy on the run? Just fines? 2/2
Richard Foster (@Richo_Foster) February 7, 2013

One step at a time.

One proposal is constructive and feasible. A Citywide ban is not.

Richard Foster’s proposed Citywide smoking ban has failed to receive support from his fellow city Councillors and has not been listed for discussion on the City Council’s agenda.

The City Council has the right to impose a selective smoking ban on Council owned property. It could even consider imposing a smoke-free zone as part of the Council’s on-street trading permit conditions.

A better approach is to install advisory signs in nominated public areas. “Please consider others and refrain from smoking in this area.

A blanket ban beyond Council owned property should not be within the Council’s legislative jurisdiction.

HOWEVER it has highlighted concern for the need to provide State Government oversight and right of veto over Municipal laws.

City Smokers sigh a sign of relief

Melbourne’s Smokers cam rest assured that the City will not impose a blanket outside ban on smoking.  Cr Richard Foster’s propsed smoking ban had no support and the issue was not included for discussion on tonight’s Council agenda.

Discussion with various Councillors it was made clear that Foster did not have any support. The Council would not be imposing a local law that they can not police or implement.  Instead of the big bother heavy handed approach Council would embark on a more passive educational exercise to try and discourage smokers from lighting up. The Council may extend non-smoking areas to Council managed property, kindergartens, playgounds and the like but smoekers will not be targeted in a blanket city ban.

Richard Foster who is a member of the ALP was not endorsed by the Party and the proposed citywide smoking ban is not ALP policy. Foster has no mandate for his proposal. A proposal, if implemented, that  could cost the ALP two inner city Federal seats at the next Federal election. (Melbourne and Port Melbourne)

So outraged at the push and shove approach of the  City Council there were plans to mobilize city smokers in what would have been a firestorm of protest.  A campaign that would have called on the State Government to remove or subject to legislative oversight the establishment of local laws with the State Government and Governor in Council having the final say and right of veto of any proposed local law that is enacted that compromised state interests  Calls for tighter limitations on Council’s right to impose restrictive laws in isolation or with-out a referedum. A proposal that, if adopted, would hamstring all municipalities in passing local laws.

The Foster Smoking ban would have had a negative impact on public health campaigns and made their job that much harder.

Richard Foster having had his citywide ban extinguished is now expected to change tact in order to save face. He will seek to have selective bans imposed instead, but never the less his grandstanding proposal will leave a stain on his reputation.