The City of Sydney has asked for public input on establishing new alcohol-free zones in Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, the CBD, East Sydney, Woolloomooloo, Glebe, Kings Cross, Potts Point and Newtown.

Similar zones have been operating in Sydney for 20 years and are usually extended for large events such as the Sydney Festival and New Year’s Eve celebrations. While it is an offence to drink in these areas, police can only confiscate alcohol and cannot issue fines.

The proposed zones have been displayed in all city libraries and can be found on the City of Sydney’s website.

The council’s Safe City manager, Rebecca Martin, said pubs and restaurants with outdoor dining licences would not be affected.

“People should be able to enjoy a drink if they want one, and families and others also should have places to go if they don’t want to be a part of that,” Martin said.

“It needs to take place in the right place and at the right time. The aim of alcohol-free zones is to reduce alcohol-related crime in identified locations. This is about ensuring that this kind of anti-social behaviour doesn’t interfere with people’s enjoyment of the city.”

Residents, NSW Police and businesses can apply for the creation of alcohol-free zones, with many already requesting the extension of existing areas and the creation of new ones.

Surry Hills and Kings Cross police have called for the renewal of alcohol-free zones that expire in late November. Residents and businesses are also calling for new drinking restrictions in streets in Glebe and Newtown.

“We want to hear from people who support or are opposed to the proposed locations,” Martin said. “All submissions will be carefully considered.”

Submissions can be posted to City of Sydney, GPO Box 1591, Sydney, NSW, 2001, addressed to Safe City manager Rebecca Martin or emailed to afz@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au or faxed to 02 9265 9222.

INFO: www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/safety/AlchoholFreeZones.asp

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