The NSW Police Force is encouraging the community to come together in solidarity and in support of all Australians ahead of the national holiday this weekend.
A highly-visible and mobile police operation will be in place on Sunday (26 January 2020) with thousands of people expected to join in Australia Day events across NSW.
The operation will see general duties officers, assisted by specialist police, deployed across the state to ensure a safe and secure environment for all who choose to reflect and celebrate Australia Day.
Operation Commander, Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb APM, said large crowds are expected to join in events throughout the state and police will be there to ensure their safety.
“Over the past few months, the community of New South Wales and of our neighbouring states have shown how resilient and united we can be during times of crisis and hardship,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.
“Australia Day is more than just a public holiday – it is about appreciating everything that’s great about being Australian, and this year that the Aussie spirit of solidarity and incredible mateship should be recognised and celebrated.
“As with any major event, police will have a presence in the community with uniformed and plain-clothed officers patrolling the streets, targeting alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.
“We are asking the public to mark the day in an appropriate manner by taking responsibility for your actions, looking after your mates and drinking in moderation.
“Alcohol can impair your judgement and you can find yourself a victim of crime or before the courts – we don’t want either of these for you or your friends.
“There will be additional police resources deployed on the ground, in the air, and on the water to ensure crowd movements are managed safely,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott MP, said the national holiday celebrates our communities solidarity.
“Over the past few months our emergency services have united to protect the thousands of people affected by the tragic bushfires across the state,” Minister Elliott said.
“It’s fitting that on Australia Day we recognise their outstanding and selfless work as they continue to support fellow Aussies over the long weekend.”
Police are urging the community to monitor weather reports and follow health and safety advice, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting hot weather over the Australia Day long weekend.
“As the weather heats up, I cannot stress strongly enough to motorists that it’s not only an offence for children or pets to be left unattended in a vehicle, it can be deadly,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.
“It’s also important to drink plenty of water, stay cool, take care of others and seek medical advice if you feel unwell.
“If you see pets, children or vulnerable people located in a car, phone Triple Zero (000) immediately,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.
As Sydney Harbour is a popular destination to spend Australia Day, police are reminding skippers of their responsibilities in complying with the maritime laws and to have all the required safety equipment – most importantly, lifejackets – on board the vessel.
Officers from the Marine Area Command will be conducting drug and alcohol testing on the water, so remember, the same rule applies to as if you were driving a vehicle, it is a 0.05 alcohol limit.
For anyone heading out on the water, check the weather conditions prior to your departure, exclusion zones and movement times apply. Please visit www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/ for further details.
There will be road closures in place – particularly within the Sydney CBD – throughout the day, so members of the public are asked to leave the car at home and utilise public transport.
A reminder for people who insist on driving to plan your trip via www.livetraffic.com, and allow extra time and expect delays.
If you are planning to attend an event, remember to check the conditions of entry, especially relating to alcohol-free zones. Glass bottles are prohibited in some of the event areas.
A comprehensive Australia Day transport guide – with information for travel to and from events from 7am – is available by visiting www.transportnsw.info.
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/