Smoky changes for Browne Park
CHANGES at Browne Park that will come into play as of the New Year are all for the health of children.
The management committee of the Browne Park Trust have decided the Rugby League headquarters will be a Smoke Free Zone from 1 January, 2017.
Committee Chairman, Paul Hoolihan, confirmed that the decision had been made for the coming years as a result of further bans imposed from September 1, 2016 for organised under-18 sporting events.
Mr Hoolihan said it was a difficult decision but was believed that it was the best course to assist all organisers using Browne Park.
"We have so many events which include children and schools and combine them with Senior football and this course would help organisers who need separate action for Junior and Senior events,” he said.
The new regulations from September, 2016, banned smoking within 10 metres of viewing and playing areas.
It also applies to training and practice sessions for Under 18's. Health Department and local government officers can issue on-the-spot fines (which are $243.80 as at June 2016) for breaches.
Mr Hoolihan also pointed out that this may also cause some problems for the Leagues Club which has an area where Rugby League can be viewed.
"To advance the sport, so many events are now held where there are Under 18 or younger curtain raisers for Senior matches and this will help by ensuring that there is a seamless arrangement for smokers” he also said
"Many sporting venues today are smoke free including Suncorp Stadium and Browne Park will follow that trend. People will need to go out to Albert or Murray Street so they can be out of sight of the playing area”
"This decision may not be accepted by some people but the Management Committee must act in the best interest of Rugby League and it believes that this is a decision which will benefit the majority of spectators and players.” Mr Hoolihan commented..
Signage will be erected at all entry points so that people can know where they can smoke and the Clubs or organisers will need to ensure that the patrons are provided with a form of pass-out to allow them to re-enter the grounds.
Some fine-tuning will be required but it does work at larger venues like Suncorp, it is hoped that the patrons at Browne Park will support this initiative.