Proposal for Alcohol-free Zones in Singleton
The Local Government Act 1993 provides the legislative powers for local councils to establish alcohol-free zones in NSW to promote the safe use of roads, footpaths and public car parks without interference from anti-social behaviour caused by public drinkers. The object of alcohol-free zones is to act as an early intervention measure to prevent the escalation of irresponsible street drinking to incidents involving serious crime.
Section 645 of the Local Government Act gives Council the power to suspend or cancel an Alcohol-free Zone during its period of operation. This will require a resolution of Council and such action may be taken as a result of a request received from any person or body, or at Councilâ€™s own initiative, to allow for community events within the Alcohol-free Zone.
Singleton has had alcohol-free zones since 1995, and has renewed them as the period expired however, the evidence for maintaining the same zones has not been reviewed for several years. Over this period there have been changes in the locations of venues, such as the Youth Venue, and in the incidences of offensive behaviour, which require that new zones be defined and adopted.
Consultation with local Police, the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, and community members from groups such as: Singleton Liquor Accord, Community Safety Committee, Disability Advisory Committee, Community Services Interagency, Sports Council, Chamber of Commerce, and Health Advisory Committee has indicated that antisocial behaviours relating to drinking alcohol continue to be an issue within the town. Many sources report high incidences of intoxicated people, drinking on the streets, littering of bottles and cans, invasion of private property, and Police report high incidences of malicious damage, breaking and entering etc. Although the Departmental guidelines stress the desirability of minimising the zones, Singleton has a very extensive area served by licensed venues of different types, including sports clubs, which close at different times, and a culture of patrons making their way from early to late closing venues, using the back streets as well as the main thoroughfares. Incidence of antisocial behaviour peaks when there is an event including the consumption of alcohol at the Showground and sporting grounds, hence the inclusion of all the streets surrounding the showground and those leading from the sports grounds to the central town area. Incidents in Singleton Heights around the liquor outlet, service club and sportsground indicate the need for a zone in that area.
The Commander of Hunter Valley Local Area Command, Superintendent Des Organ, has indicated his support for the proposed zone as an additional tool to address alcohol-related related crime and notes that, if approved, Police will be in a position to enforce it.
Any representations regarding the proposed Alcohol-free Zones, which are shown on The Map, should be made by 9.00am Monday 21 June 2010 to the General Manager, PO Box 314 Singleton, or email@example.com