By RACHEL McFADDEN
Councillor Jade Kudrenko is calling for council to enforce its smoke-free policy in Todd Mall and Todd Street North.
At Monday’s Town Council committee meeting, Cr Kudrenko asked how the 2010 Tobacco Control Act relates to public spaces, events and festivals in Todd Mall.
“I find it quite frustrating that people can smoke in the Mall when it is very packed. In this day and age it is something we should not accept. If people wish to smoke that’s fine but they shouldn’t do so in those extremely packed areas.”
Director of Technical Services Greg Buxton said that technically it is illegal to smoke in the mall but enforcing the law would prove difficult.
Councillor Kudrenko suggested the council enforce it in the same way as it enforces its other policies around smoking. She will meet with Mr Buxton to take the issue further.
Cameron Buckley, owner of Café Gonzo located in the northern part of the mall, is against smoke-free enforcement: “I don’t think there is enough people in the mall for [smoking] to be a health problem” Mr Buckley told the Alice Springs News Online. (We also tried to call other al fresco premises for comment but no-one was picking up at the time.)
Alice as a ‘Welcome Zone’ for refugees?
In other council news, an Alice Springs community group is calling for Alice Springs to adopt a Refugee Welcome Zone policy.
This is a Refugee Council of Australia initiative, with TEAR Action Group Alice Springs taking it to the Town Council at the start of Refugee Week.
Officers recommended council adopt the policy, as it is in line with existing strategic frameworks around embracing and supporting multiculturalism.
It has no formal obligations but is “a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into the community, upholding the human rights of refugees, demonstrating compassion for refugees and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community.”
Since the initiative launched in 2002, 90 councils nation-wide have become Refugee Welcome Zones, including Palmerston Council in the Northern Territory.
Councillors Liz Martin, Chansey Paech and Jade Kudrenko declared their support and the item was referred to the next Ordinary Council Meeting with no objections.
“I think by doing this we send a message that we are committed to ensuring that we strengthen and build our future as a multicultural town,” said Cr Paech.
Cr Martin “absolutely” supported “anything we can do to welcome refugees to Alice Springs. We need to ensure we provide appropriate services. It’s something we have got to do to move forward and lets do the hard stuff to make sure it happens.”
Cr Kudrenko asked for feedback from the community and is specifically seeking input from traditional owners.
TEAR Action group, in collaboration with Amnesty International Alice Springs, is hosting a free Refugee Week screening of Mary Meets Mohammed tonight (June 18) at 6pm on the Council Lawns.
Basketball commuters could face fines
A warning to those picking up and dropping off children for basketball at the Traeger Avenue stadium: make sure you are following road rules.
The Basketball Association is calling for additional lighting and fencing around the stadium to ensure road safety for children.
Cr Kudrenko said basketball pick-up and drop-offs were often chaotic with cars and children heading in all directions: “I am quite shocked at the number of people that pull up on that yellow line to drop off children.”
Council will look at reducing speed limits from 50 to 40kmph and at options for fencing and lighting.
In the meantime, Rangers will set up shop in Traeger Avenue to issue enforcement notices to those failing to adhere to road rules.