Port Phillip Council is reminding visitors and residents that a 24-hour alcohol ban starts tomorrow on the St Kilda foreshore and nearby parks and reserves.
Mayor Dick Gross today urged everyone enjoying the St Kilda foreshore, the most visited beach in Victoria, to obey the ban and join Council in keeping Port Phillip clean and safe over summer.
“We wish it could be different as a 24-hour ban penalises residents who do the right thing, but a new element of violence by a small number of visitors has arrived on our foreshore since we last considered taking this step,” he said.
“Many members of our community raised deeply-held concerns about the availability of alcohol and expected us to take this step, which was also requested by Victoria Police.”
Cr Gross said complex social reasons linked to alcohol and violence meant a ban alone was unlikely to act as a panacea. “Enforcement, responsible sale of alcohol and a willingness for people to do the right thing are all critical to achieving a successful summer.”
While Council decided on December 5 to implement the ban, it could not take effect until published in the Victorian Government Gazette. The ban, to apply annually from 1 November to 31 March, will be enforced by Victoria Police as law and order is a police responsibility.
Council is fulfilling its “play your part” theme for this year’s summer management campaign by allocating $1.1 million over summer for a record number of bins and beach cleans and implementing a total glass ban at beaches, parks and reserves. The strong anti-littering component follows last year’s unexpected trashing of South Beach Reserve by revellers on Christmas Day.
Some of this funding will also go towards paying for extra local laws officers to accompany police on patrols.
“Our Council wants this to be a fun and safe summer for the thousands of people who love experiencing St Kilda’s many attractions. While we continue to warmly welcome all visitors, we want to make it very clear that violent or anti-social behaviour is unacceptable,” Cr Gross said.
“If everyone plays their part, this could be our best summer ever.”
The new St Kilda restriction replaces the partial ban prohibiting drinking there from 8 pm until noon the next day, except when a 24-ban applied over key public holiday periods. Responsible drinking is still allowed on the remaining nine km of foreshore from noon to 8 pm, if wider holiday bans are not in force.
A 24-hour trial ban on drinking on streets and footpaths already applies, except for licensed drinking areas and permitted outdoor events.