Alcohol Free Zones

Submissions closing on 21 November 2018, 04:30 PM

Public Drinking

Eight Alcohol Free Zones (AFZs) have been identified across the MidCoast Council area.

Of the eight AFZs, three have expired, being Wingham, Taree and Gloucester.

The AFZs for Forster, Tuncurry and One Mile are due for renewal in 2020 while Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens are due for renewal 2021.

AFZs have been located in:

  • Wingham – refer Attachment A
  • Taree – refer Attachment B
  • Forster – refer Attachment C
  • Tuncurry – refer Attachment D
  • Hawks Nest – refer Attachment E
  • Tea Gardens – refer Attachment F
  • Gloucester – refer Attachment G
  • One Mile – refer Attachment H

These AFZs have been in place since 1997 and are based on previous street statistics. They have remained in place to prevent incidences reoccurring aligned with the aims noted above.

Areas have been presented in blocks or areas and include both the AFZs and APZs due to how displacement can move to an area not initially targeted.

What is an Alcohol Free Zone?

An alcohol free zone (AFZ) is a geographic area, location or establishment where the public consumption and sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.

Alcohol free zones have been established in some areas to address problems with drinking, and binge drinking-related crime, antisocial behavior, assaults and disorderly behavior.

 AFZs have been in place across the region for a number of years to prevent disorderly behaviours caused by the consumption of alcohol in public areas in order to improve public safety, and to prevent the escalation of irresponsible street drinking.

Definitions

  • Alcohol Free Zone (AFZ) are shown in red on the plans
  • Are an area where the drinking of alcohol is completely prohibited on public roads, footpaths or in public carparks.
  • Alcohol Prohibited Zone (APZ) are shown in green on the plans
  • Are any public space or part of a public space (excluding public roads, footpaths or public carparks).
  • An APZ may be imposed at all times or for a specific days, times or events eg dusk to dawn or 6pm 31 December to 6am 1 January each year.

 Note: any reference to AFZ also includes APZ if applicable.

Legislation

AFZ information is referenced in sections 644, 644A, 644C and 646 of the Local Government Act 1993. APZ information is referenced in sections 632 and 632A of the Local Government Act 1993. These sections allow for consistent enforcement powers for both AFZs and APZs.

Recommendation

To help with continuity and ensuring AFZs and APZs remain effective it is recommended that:

1) the AFZs in Wingham, Taree and Gloucester are re-established for four years

2) the AFZs in Forster, Tuncurry, One Mile, Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens are extended for four years to align all AFZs across the region, all expiring in December 2022.

The intention with AFZs and APZs is not to remove the public amenity and use of areas. They are a tool when behaviour becomes inappropriate. Once the AFZs and APZs are in place exemptions can be made for events or activities through a resolution of Council.

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