Inverell Shire Council will soon remove the smoke screen on the proposed plan to ban smoking in the CBD by opening it up for community consultation.
Yet before the public have their say, confusion over certain distinctions in the plan plagued some councillors. The main point of contention being the inclusion of the court house area.
Following the recent ordinary council meeting, more areas will be included in the draft plan before its aired for public comment.
The initial plan put before council outlined the proposed no-smoking areas would be on Byron Street, stretching from Campbell to Lawrence streets, and Otho Street, stretching from Byron to Evans Street.
However Cr Jo Williams requested the town hall, post office, and library be included, and it was discussed and agreed upon to include the entire block.
For the ease of signage and policing - rather than it stopping midblock - the extension would continue on Otho Street all the way up to Rivers Street, encompassing the food areas on the opposite side - and the court house.
Mayor Paul Harmon said it was better to shrink the areas following consultation - if necessary - rather than it come back to council and having the plan go back out again for the public to have a second say.
"If we set the boundaries too big in our map, then we are going to get the feedback from the community saying, listen, it could pose a problem say for those attending court, and that's a decision we make once it's displayed," he said.
However the court house's inclusion fanned the flames of confusion.
"I'm as happy as Larry with the recommendation it go through to Rivers Street, but what is the difference between having it to Rivers Street as to having it (cut off) at the town hall?" Cr Stewart Berryman asked.
"I'd like to know the difference between the people, the human beings, that are smoking down the street or smoking in front of the court house?"
Cr Paul King, backed up by Civil and Environmental Services Director Brett McInnes, was quick to point out that it was rather a matter of location, with those at court smoking on court house grounds rather than council-controlled footpaths.
And reiterated the ease of signing a full block rather than half.
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