Wyndham council has fined seven local businesses for selling tobacco products to minors.
Between January and July this year, the council and Municipal Association of Victoria conducted an operation aimed at preventing the sale of tobacco to children.
The operation involved people aged under 18 years-old visiting 51 randomly selected tobacco retailers across Wyndham, with the council’s approval.
The young people asked to purchase tobacco or cigarettes, and were not allowed to lie about their age or present fraudulent identification in the process.
Seven businesses sold tobacco to the youths, resulting in staff being fined $661 each.
Wyndham mayor Adele Hegedich said: “While it was encouraging that most businesses complied with the law, it is disturbing that cigarettes were still being sold to those under the age of 18.”
Cr Hegedich said that it was important for all businesses to inform their staff of the importance of asking for ID when selling tobacco.
Wyndham council officers also made 140 educational visits to businesses in the first half of this year, to ensure adequate staff training on tobacco laws had been completed.
“The outcome of these visits and this testing process can serve as a reminder to all Wyndham businesses about how vital it is to provide effective training of tobacco laws to staff, and the requirement on asking for identification when selling tobacco,” Cr Hegedich said.