The NSW Police Force are reminding the community to start planning their Australia Day events ahead of the national holiday this weekend.
Thousands of visitors and residents are expected to join in celebrations this Australia Day (Sunday 26 January 2020), on Sydney’s CBD and foreshore areas across NSW.
A highly-visible and mobile policing operation will be conducted by general duties officers, with assistance from specialist police, to ensure a safe and secure environment for all attendees.
Operation Commander, Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb APM, said there are many ways for the public to participate in Australia Day events this long weekend.
“Police recognise this has been a very difficult time for the community of New South Wales and we want everyone to have an enjoyable weekend celebrating everything that is great about being Australian,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.
“Australia Day is an opportunity to reflect on the courage, selflessness and resilience of our country and our people – particularly our strong sense of community in times of crisis.
“In the true Aussie spirit of mateship, we also want to honour and support those who are facing times of hardship and thank those who continue to provide assistance.
“To ensure everyone enjoys the long weekend safely, police will be out in the community focusing on alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour. Anyone acting inappropriately will be dealt with swiftly and face the full force of the law.
“If you’re planning on having a drink, remember the coveted national culture of ‘mateship’ – look after your mates and drink in moderation,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.
The police operation will extend onto the state’s waterways, with the Marine Area Command providing a highly-visible and mobile presence.
Marine Area Commander, Acting Superintendent Joe Mcnulty, said Australia Day is one of the busiest annual events on Sydney Harbour and across coastal and local inland waterways.
“With significant maritime traffic expected on the harbour and on waterways across the state, skippers are reminded that police will be conducting drug and alcohol testing on the water as well as compliance checks,” said A/Supt Mcnulty.
“Before heading out on the water, check the vessel is in good working order, ensure all the required safety equipment is on board – most importantly, lifejackets.
“And remember, the alcohol limit is 0.05 – just like on land – and with officers conducting random breath tests on the water, it’s safer not to drink at all.
“Drinking alcohol or taking drugs while out on the water can end in tragedy, so look after your friends and family and act responsibly,” said A/Supt Mcnulty.
For anyone heading out onto the water, exclusion zones and movement times apply. Please visit www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/ for further details.
If you are planning to attend an event, remember to check the conditions of entry, especially relating to alcohol-free zones.
For details about what’s happening in your area and further event-related information, visit the official Australia Day website: http://www.australiaday.com.au/
Members of the public should also remember that bottles are prohibited in some of the event areas so ensure you check conditions of entry.
“Public transport is recommended as road closures will be in place, particularly in the Sydney CBD and around the foreshore areas. For those that insist on driving, please be patient and drive to the conditions,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.
“Motorists are also reminded that there will be a number of special event clearways in place so ensure you check signage before parking your car, as it may be towed and fines apply.
“We say it time and time again, don’t drink or take drugs and drive. Officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will be on our roads and you will be caught and put before the courts,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.
A comprehensive Australia Day transport guide – with information for travel to and from events from 7am – is available by visiting www.transportnsw.info.