4×4 News: Smoking bans in NSW National Parks
New laws have come to pass in New South Wales, banning smoking in National Parks from the 1st of January, 2015.
Primarily directed at reducing the impact of litter and the risk of bushfire, the ban will be in effect in over 865 National Parks and Reserves in Australia’s most populous state.
“Seven billion cigarette butts are littered in Australia every year, putting lives and property at risk, ruining beaches, spoiling the beauty of our parks and endangering wildlife,” Rob Stokes, Minister for the Environment, said.
There are obvious health benefits involved with banning smoking in National Parks as well, which NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service) has stated as a reason behind the change.
Almost all areas of the parks will be effected; private land and commercial lease areas will be exempted, but virtually every other area will be smoke-free.
Criticisms surrounding the ban question whether the blanket ban is over the top, and how it will actually be policed.
Since it has been announced in New South Wales, there has been many discussions and prompts as to when and if this ban will be implemented in other states. Namely, Tasmania has started to discuss the benefits of a smoking ban once again.