Mornington shopping centres go smoke free for World No Tobacco Day

Published on 24 May 2018

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Mornington Central and Bentons Square Shopping Centres have signed on to the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Smoke Free Charter and Smoke Free Policy ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Thursday 31 May.

Mornington Peninsula Shire worked closely with centre operator Vicinity Centres and Peninsula Health to introduce charter and policy which applies to all staff, community, volunteers and visitors and contractors of Bentons Square and Mornington Central while on company premise and will come in to effect from 31 May 2018.

These changes reflect the Tobacco and Alcohol Compliance element of the Shire’s innovative food safety program ‘Best Bites’ which assesses local food businesses on measures they are taking to provide safe and healthy food; use environmentally sustainable business practices; and provide safe and accessible food premises.

At the conclusion of this project, both centres will be the first ever shopping centres to meet the requirements of all five areas of the Best Bites Program.

Each centre and its food retailers was presented with Best Bites certificates along with the charter and policy at a special event held at Bentons Square Shopping Centre on Thursday 24 May.

Further promotion of the nutrition, access and sustainability areas of Best Bites will be addressed by the centres later this year including:

  • Nutrition assessments at all food retailers
  • Making both centres completely smoke free, with a phase in of a designated smoking area for staff
  • Making both centres plastic bag free to align with Coles and Woolworths going plastic bag free from June
  • Waste initiatives such as public place recycling and food composting
  • Energy and water efficiency improvements
  • Centres to meet all access requirements

Shire Mayor Councillor Bryan Payne said “I commend Vicinity Centres on leading the way for other peninsula businesses to promote a smoke free environment.

“It’s important that we set an example for our community and encourage healthy lifestyle choices on the peninsula”.

Centre Manager Carol Cooper said “Bentons Square and Mornington Central are the first shopping centres to become smoke free on the peninsula and we are very proud to be on this journey with Mornington Peninsula Shire and Peninsula Health.

“The work we are doing to create a ‘smoke free’ centres is ongoing and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with our stakeholders, to promote healthier communities”.

Director Prevention, Access and Families, Peninsula Health Julie Hurrell said “Peninsula Health is pleased to partner with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to help build a healthier community.

“The Best Bites program is a great initiative which recognises local businesses that are making a difference to the health of our community. I’d especially like to acknowledge the businesses committed to providing a menu of foods with high nutritional value and those helping to reduce the harmful effects of smoking by going smoke free.

“Congratulations to Vicinity Centres for signing the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Smoke Free Charter and pledging to create a healthier environment for shoppers and staff members through the development of a smoke Free Policy”. 

This project is equally funded by the Shire and Peninsula Health which provides in kind contribution for the nutrition and tobacco areas as well as broader coordination of the of the program.

Vicinity Shopping Centres provide promotional support, resources and access to their food retailers.

For more information on the Best Bites program visit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/bestbites

PICTURE CAPTION: Mornington traders receiving their smoke free charter along with representatives from the Shire, Peninsula Health and Vicinity Centres.