Lithgow City Council resolved at the recent council meeting on Monday, February 22 to consult on a proposal to re-establish Alcohol Free Zones in the Lithgow, Wallerawang and Portland CBD areas for a further four years.
This proposal, if adopted, will create a prohibition on individuals from consuming alcohol on the street, footpaths or public carparks within the zone.
"Streets and public spaces need to be safe and cater for the whole of the community," Mayor Ray Thompson said.
It does not prohibit people from carrying unopened alcohol from one location to another including to home or a restaurant, nor does it prevent drinking at approved footpath dining locations.
Consumption of alcohol in parks, playgrounds and public reserves is prohibited under separate legislation.
The current Alcohol Free Zones in the Lithgow, Portland and Wallerawang CBD areas were last extended by a resolution of Council in 2017.
Their operation will cease on April 10, 2021.
Alcohol Free Zones may operate for a maximum period of four years after which Councils are required to consider whether they are still required or if they should be re-established for a further period.
The establishment of an Alcohol Free Zone gives powers to the police to seize, tip out or otherwise dispose of open containers of alcohol.
The police may also issue a warning where a person does not co-operate.
The Lithgow Alcohol Free Zone The public areas included in the current Lithgow CBD Alcohol Free Zone are as follows:
- Main Street (from Bridge Street to Laurence Street);
- Main Street Lane and Burns Lane (between Bridge Street and Bank Lane);
- Tank Street (from Bridge Street to Read Avenue);
- Bridge Street (from Tank Street to Main Street Lane);
- Railway Parade (from Tank Street to Sandford Avenue and including Gray and Station Streets.);
- Eskbank Street (from Mort Street to Railway Parade);
- Cook Street Plaza;
- Bank Lane;
- Tatts Lane;
- Collins Laneway;
- Exchange Walkway;
- and Bank Street between Main Street and Gray Street.
The public areas included in the current Portland CBD Alcohol Free Zone are as follows:
- Williwa Street from Lett Street to Saville Street;
- Lett Street from Vale Street to Williwa Street;
- Scheidel Lane;
- Cox Street from Villiers Street to Vale Street;
- Vale Street from Lett Street to Wolgan Street;
- Wolgan Street from Villiers Street to Williwa Street;
- Villiers Street from Lett Street to Wolgan Street;
- Wallerawang Road from Cullen Street to Wolgan Street;
- and Cullen Street from Wallerawang Road to Williwa Street.
The public areas included in the current Wallerawang CBD Alcohol Free Zone are as follows:
- Main Street between Pipers Flat Road (Black Bridge)
- The Royal Hotel including Daintree Lane, Blackberry Lane and Doggett Lane.
Inspector Chris Sammut of Chifley Command indicated at the Crime Prevention Committee meeting that he fully supports this extension of time.
The Ministerial Guidelines on Alcohol Free Zones require that in establishing an Alcohol Free Zone, Council must consider:
- The success of the previous zone in achieving a reduction in unacceptable street drinking.
- Police statistics
- Other possible measures for addressing street drinking such as community education
- Community perceptions on the safety benefits.
The matter, with community comments will then be brought back to Council in April, 2021 for its consideration.
The establishment of the Alcohol Free Zones will come into effect seven days after Council resolves to adopt the proposal, publishes a notice to that effect and once the areas included in the zones are adequately signposted.
The community is invited to make written submissions, objections or representations on this proposal, a copy of which is available from:
- Council's Administration Centre, 180 Mort Street Lithgow
- Lithgow Library Learning Centre, 157 Main Street Lithgow
- Wallerawang Branch Library, Main Street Wallerawang
- Portland Branch Library, Williwa Street Portland.
- Lithgow Council website council.lithgow.com
All submissions, objections or representations are to be to be received by March 31 by mail to Lithgow City Council PO Box 19 Lithgow NSW 2790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.