Rundle Mall Management Authority general manager Martin Haese said support for the ban – promoting a cleaner, smoke-free environment – had been well received since the Adelaide City Council last week rubber-stamped an amendment to its Rundle Mall by-law banning smoking in the shopping precinct and laneways.
That’s according to the Mall’s management organisation, but it will need to be approved by a parliamentary committee before it can be enforced.
Mr Haese said about one out of five people had expressed concerns the council had taken a step in the wrong direction.
“This office has received a tremendous amount of correspondence from members of the public applauding it,” he said. “I think it’s far too early to tell whether this is going to be a positive, or a negative or a neutral for Rundle Mall retail community.”
If the ban is approved, anyone refusing to butt out on request from an authorised council officer would be liable to pay a maximum fine of $62.50.
Failure to co-operate would result in the matter being referred to police.
State Retailers Association executive director John Brownsea said while he supported the smoking ban principle, he believed it would continue to drive people away from the mall.
Mr Brownsea said the ban would have a negative short-term effect on retailers, but hoped this would diminish in the longer term if people considered shopping in the same light as patrons who continually return to pubs despite not being able to smoke inside.
“It’s a wake-up call to inconsiderate smokers who drop cigarette butts … If they were serious about it, they would ban sidewalk cafes because aren’t those people breathing fumes from car exhausts?” he said.
Central Market Traders Association president Franz Knoll said people who primarily visited the mall to shop rather than for leisure, would overlook the fact they were not allowed to smoke.
“They would spend the same amount of time in any comparable shopping centre doing their activities and they would not be allowed to smoke either,” he said.
“If people are there (at Rundle Mall) for that purpose (to smoke) they should not really make the trip.”
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