A move to ban noisy children from an Australian shopping centre has been met with shock by centres here who say it goes against the family focus of malls.

Sydney's Dee Why Grand introduced the policy following complaints about out-of-control children.

A notice from centre management put up in the mall last week reads 'Stop. Parents please be considerate of other customers using the food court. Screaming children will not be tolerated in the centre', News.com.au reported.

Staff and customers had complained about children "running amok" and screaming in the food court, near the centre's playground for under fives, centre manager Brenda Mulcahy told the website.


However, New Zealand shopping centre managers have rejected the idea, saying they won't be doing the same here.

Westfield national public relations manager Deb McGhie was surprised at the mall ban, saying noisy children were "just life".

The company, which has 10 shopping centres across New Zealand, does not have a policy on unruly children.

"Anybody of any age, if they're behaving inappropriately then we take steps to deal with that but children crying or excitable, no we wouldn't have a sign like that," she said referring to the Dee Why Grand.

Banning children was the "complete opposite" of Ponsonby Central's family friendly policy, said manager of the new Auckland centre Leah LaHood.

"We're community based. We encourage them [children] - we're also dog friendly. They're losing their sense of community," she said.

The move by the Australian centre would not be followed by Sylvia Park mall, said centre manager Jonathan Douglas, who was not aware of any complaints from customers about noisy children.

However, Ms Mulcahy told News.com.au children at Dee Why Grand were sometimes so loud she could hear their screams in her office, which was "miles away" and they had received several complaints from customers.


Some staff avoided the food court because they found the noise "unbearable", she said.