Thursday, April 25, 2024

Mayor tells sign thieves to butt out

City of Monash Council Mayor, Brian Little, has expressed his “extreme” disappointment after the theft of eight ‘No Smoking’ footpath signs just hours after they were erected by Council.

Mayor Little said the signs were put up by Council staff on 11 October near Eaton Mall Oakleigh and were stolen that night.

The eight signs advise of changes under Council’s Smoke Free Areas Local Law that allow for certain areas, including footpaths in Eaton Mall and Kingsway, to be smoke free. No smoking is allowed in these prescribed areas from 19 October 2021.

“Significant community consultation occurred prior to the introduction of the Local Law, with 400 residents and 100 traders (all selected at random) surveyed. Among residents 87% supported the introduction of the Smoke Free Local Law, with 84% of traders giving their support,” the Mayor said.

“The people who stole Council property are rejecting their own community and the overwhelming support for this change by their fellow residents and traders. Council will be replacing the signs and warns those responsible not to remove again.

Eaton Mall, Oakleigh.

“It’s time families and people returning to our precincts after lockdown eases can enjoy a meal or a coffee without having to put up with cigarette smoke polluting their environment.”

Council has contacted Victoria Police who will be investigating the theft. There are penalties that apply ranging from $500 to $2000. Police will be looking at any CCTV from shopkeepers and speaking to any witnesses, Mayor Little said.

“There are reports of a group of young men seen removing the signs. Council will strongly support Victoria Police in the prosecution of anyone found to have stolen these assets,” he said.

Anyone who witnessed the removal of the signs should contact 1800 333 000.

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