Murdoch clears the air with new policy

July 24, 2013

Murdoch University is working to improve the health of its staff and students, with new Fresh Air Zones coming into effect at South Street and Rockingham campuses from next week.

Fresh Air Zones come into effect from Semester Two, 2013.

From July 29, the first day of Semester Two, smoking will not be encouraged on campus at all, and will be prohibited within these zones.

Karen Lamont, Director of Human Resources, said most of the feedback to date had been positive.

"A number of staff members and students have told us they're looking forward to going about their business without passing through clouds of second-hand smoke," she said.

"We've also had a number of enquiries about the smoking cessation support we will be providing on campus for staff and students, which is promising."

The Fresh Air Zones will be clearly signposted, with a number of dedicated resources developed to help raise awareness about the new policy. Information will also be hosted on the Murdoch University website and communicated internally.

"We've worked hard to achieve balance with the new policy, taking into account a number of things, including the sheer size of Murdoch's South Street campus," Mrs Lamont said.

"Of course, the health of staff and students is paramount, and the policy will continue to be reviewed based on the feedback we get."

This new initiative complements the existing policy at Peel campus, which has been completely smoke-free since early 2010.

More information is available online here.

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Media contact: Candice Barnes
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Comments (9 responses)

david July 24, 2013

thanks for this murdoch! though it seems to be an awkward compromise – you have 'fresh air zones' instead of a smoke-free campus.

does the map at show that everything within the thick orange line (except for the tav) is to be smoke free?

what happens if people continue to smoke? can smokers be asked by staff/security to move out of the fresh air zone?

Candice Barnes July 24, 2013

Hi David,

When developing the policy, a number of problems were identified leading to the implementation of Fresh Air Zones, rather than a completely smoke-free campus. Some of the reasoning is explained on the FAQ page here:

You're correct when it comes to the map – smoking will be prohibited within that boundary from next week. The tavern has a smoking area for patrons, as well as a non smoking section, so that was reflected on the map.

As for enforcement, the policy does allow disciplinary action to be taken against those breaching the rules, but hopefully it won't come to that. Special resources have been developed to allow anyone to inform people about the new policy in a non confrontational way. You'll find those resources, and more information at

Any feedback can be submitted to This feedback will be considered when the policy is reviewed.

I hope that helps!

Peter July 24, 2013

I was horrified when I returned to study at Murdoch this year to find Bush Court still a smoker's paradise. I really hope those who do not smoke will be able to re-claim this outdoor space. I think terminology like Fresh Air Zone doesn't help. Like being called a non-smoker it legitimizes smoking/ smokers as the norm when that is far from the case in 2013. I welcome and thank you for this beginning.

Candice Barnes July 24, 2013

Thanks for your feedback, Peter. It will be passed on to the working group and considered when the policy is reviewed.

Peter July 25, 2013

I agree -this is a great start! Can I suggest that we lift the advertising profile and make the announcement larger on the homepage, and at all of the carparks. I canvassed a class of students last week (commencing 15th July)and found that only 20% were aware of the pending change to this policy.

Candice Barnes July 25, 2013

Thanks for your support, Peter! I'll pass this feedback on.

You'll start to see some posters around campus soon, and the Guild is also helping us spread the word among students, so hopefully awareness will build in the coming weeks.

Candice July 26, 2013

I really hope that this initiative works.

As a staff member and student it was always confronting to see a smoker leaning against a pillar near bush court clearly sign posted as no smoking. Especially in winter the main thoroughfares around bush court and elsewhere are often choked with smoke.

Candice Barnes July 26, 2013

Hi Candice (great name, by the way),

A lot of people have expressed concerns about enforcement. While Security and OH&S staff will be assisting with this, it's up to all of us (staff and students alike) to let people know when someone is breaching any University policy.

We've developed a business-style card (along with a set of guidelines) to help members of the Murdoch community enforce the policy quickly and easily. These are at a number of locations around campus, or can be ordered by emailing All resources and information can also be found online at

Thanks so much for your support!

Amber July 29, 2013

About time! Been waiting for this since 2011!

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