Yarra's local law around drinking alcohol in public places will expire in October this year, and we are proposing a new law to replace it.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on a draft law during the community consultation period in July and August 2021.

We have considered your feedback, along with benchmarking, social and academic research, and our responsibilities under the Local Government Act 2020. From this, we have updated the draft, which we are now proposing becomes part of our General Local Law.

You can provide feedback on the proposed local law by making a submission using the form below by 5pm on Wednesday 29 September 2021.

To find out more you can read the full proposed local law and the procedures and protocols manual, or see a summary below.

Summary of the proposed law

The proposed law would be added as a new section in Yarra’s General Local Law.

Under the proposed law, responsible drinking in public places would be allowed throughout Yarra except for:

  • In Yarra's public parks and reserves between 9pm and 9am each day.
  • On the footpath adjoining a licensed venue when it is open and trading, except where the venue mainly sells takeaway liquor (like bottle shops).
  • Within 10 metres of the entrance and exit for public buildings or facilities that provide services to families and children (including libraries and leisure centres).
  • Around New Year's Eve, from 9pm on 30 December to 9am 1 January.
  • Around Swan Street in Cremorne and Richmond during AFL Grand Final weekend. This would be from 9pm the day before until 9am the day after AFL Grand Final day.

The draft law also proposes that in certain situations new restrictions can be prescribed by Council resolution. This would allow us to respond to exceptional circumstances as they arise and is only to be used where it is clear that there is an extraordinary and immediate risk to public safety related to the consumption of alcohol.

The proposed new law starts with a statement that explains that it is not to be used in situations where a person appears to be physically, psychologically, socially, culturally or economically vulnerable.

There are also specific rules in the Procedures and Protocols Manual that direct anyone enforcing the law to first consider circumstances and offer appropriate support instead of punishment.

In this way, the proposed new law is not intended to be used against anyone experiencing vulnerability or stop them from accessing support.

The current local law restricts people from consuming alcohol in any public place in Yarra except for public parks between 9am and 9pm. It also specifies no consumption of alcohol in Yarra’s parks from 9pm the day before New Year’s Eve until 9am on New Year’s Day.

The proposed law would be the opposite of this, taking a more targeted approach that is more responsive to the needs of the Yarra community. Drinking would be allowed in all public places in Yarra except at the locations and times specified in the law.

Contact Us

If you have questions or need support to make a submission, please contact us:

Name Yarra's Social Strategy and Community Development Team
Phone 9205 5555
Email socialstrategy@yarracity.vic.gov.au