New rules on drinking in public places apply from today

Yarra’s local law on drinking in public places has changed.

The changes were developed through an extensive consultation process which included members of the Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander community, service providers, liquor licensees, traders and frontline responders such as Victoria Police, hospital emergency departments and outreach workers, including those who work with people who are homeless.

The previous law did not allow drinking in any public places in Yarra, except in parks between 9am and 9pm. Drinking was also restricted around New Year’s Eve.

The new local law is designed to be more targeted and unique to the specific circumstances in the City of Yarra. It allows or drinking in all public places in Yarra, except at certain locations and times specified in the law:

  • in Yarra’s public parks and reserves between 9pm and 9am on the following day
  • on the footpath adjoining a licensed venue when it is open and trading, except where the venue mainly sells takeaway liquor (like bottleshops)
  • within 10 metres of the entrance and exit for public buildings or facilities that provide services to families and children (including libraries and leisure centres)
  • around New Year’s Eve, from 9pm on 30 December to 9am 1 January
  • around Swan Street in Cremorne and Richmond during AFL Grand Final weekend, from 9pm the day before until 9am the day after AFL Grand Final day
  • while on any road, including when in a vehicle.

The new rules have been designed to not criminalise social or economic disadvantage or chronic health issues, nor to create barriers to seeking or receiving support from health and social services.

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