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July 21, 2015

Developer bans smoking

WATCHING his mother, two of her siblings and two cousins die of lung cancer made developer Gary Dempsey ban residents smoking throughout his $220 million Taskers development on the Mosman Park-North Fremantle border.

“Technically. If you were smoking in an apartment and smoke got out a neighbour could call the strata company, complain, and there could be a $500 fine under the strata rules in the management by laws, which will be stringently enforced.” Mr Dempsey said.

Total smoking bans at Taskers and Mr Dempsey’s Bluewater development in Scarborough are the first known restrictions of their type in new apartments in WA.

At Taskers, no smoking is allowed in the project’s four McCabe Street blocks, balconies, gardens and a cafe, resulting in residents of the project’s $4.6m penthouses being stopped from smoking cigars on their balconies overlooking the Swan River and Leighton Beach.

Mr Dempsey said about three prospective buyers had questioned the ban and balcony cigar smoking in particular.

“I’ve just said “This is not the development for you then” he said. Mr Dempsey said he expected the public to support bans at all new developments because only about 11 per cent of the population now smoked.

I would like the developers to get up to date and on-board on this.” he said.

Property Council of WA executive director Joe Lenzo said while smoking bans could be used by individual developers as a competitive tool to sell their projects, supporting uniform bans was outside the council’s auspice.

Mr Dempsey’s ban is supported by the Cancer Council and Curtin University anti-smoking activist Mike Daube.

“The fact that the Taskers’ ban is coming from an apartment developer, and not government, shows just how much people have taken up the anti-smoking message.” Prof Daube said.

Out he said bans at State Government housing were unlikely despite those residents often being in lower socio-economic groups comprising the greatest portion of smokers, and who should now be the target of government efforts to stop the habit.

Cancer Council WA legal policy adviser Caitlin Kameron said while several private Perth apartment complexes had smoking bans created at strata annual general meetings it was sometimes difficult for owners to negotiate the complex legal requirements.

Article published in the July 21st, 2015 issue of Western Suburbs Weekly.

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