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FOOD & DRINK

Sydney Could Axe Up to 62 Alcohol-Free Public Zones

The very same zones where you can't buy a bottle of wine after 10pm.
By Shannon Connellan
March 31, 2016
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By Shannon Connellan
March 31, 2016
  shares

Consider this brow quizzically raised. The City of Sydney is looking to lift the ban on no less than 62 public alcohol-free zones — including areas of Redfern, Newtown, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Waterloo, Alexandria, Erskineville, Rosebery and Darlinghurst, according to The Daily Telegraph. Huh? Wha? Yep, these are the very same suburbs that Mike Baird and Barry O'Farrell's controversial laws have prevented you from buying booze after 10pm. But buy a bottle of wine early? You can drink it on the street.

Apparently, rather than being a street party invitation, the move is being put into place for two reasons. Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the City of Sydney council stated yesterday that the decision was made after statistics showed the booze-free zones have only had a minor effect on crime. Alcohol-free zones cover public roads, footpaths, car parks and laneways. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the lift is to the benefit of Sydney's homeless population — allegedly forced into unmonitored alleyways by the zones. Booze-free areas, Labor councillor Linda Scott told the Tele, have "criminalised those sleeping rough, and often fail to prevent problems they are seeking to address."

Obviously, NSW Police aren't psyched. According to Nine News, police think the alcohol-free zones discourage and prevent "crimes such as malicious damage, stealing, offensive behaviour and acts of violence." Police Association of NSW's Scott Webe told Nine, "Removing alcohol-free zones makes the job of local police in these areas more difficult."

Of course, a large majority of the public is on board — because drinking in public. City documents snavvelled by the Tele reported that when the City proposed the removal of the alcohol-free zones, they received 146 responses — with 80 percent for the removal. According to the report, "The majority of the objections received related to the view that drinking did not necessarily always lead to anti-social behaviour and that the creation of zones in residential streets and parks is infringing on the ability of citizens to responsibly drink an alcohol beverage in a public place."

Via Nine News and The Daily Telegraph. Image: Wiki.

Published on March 31, 2016 by Shannon Connellan

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