Ban on public drinking

Yarra street at night Drinking alcohol in unlicensed areas on the streets of Yarra at any time of the day is banned.

On 1 December 2009, Council brought in the  pdf format Consumption of Liquor in Public Places Local Law (35.32kB) which bans the drinking of alcohol in public areas.

The ban does not apply in local parks and gardens, where the drinking of alcohol is allowed from 9am-9pm. Here is a list of the pdf format Prescribed Areas (615.84kB) where people can enjoy alcohol responsibly during daytime hours as part of social gatherings.

The local law was introduced to help curb alcohol-related violence and self-harm, particularly in Yarra’s many entertainment precincts.

Police can issue a $100 fine to people who do not follow a police direction to cease consuming alcohol, or seal a container of alcohol, or pour out the alcohol, or surrender any opened container of alcohol.


Council and the police have also agreed to this pdf format Protocol for Public Places (947.90kB), for how the law will be enforced, particularly in regards to vulnerable people.

Independent evaluations

An independent evaluation of the impact of Council’s ban on public drinking in Yarra's streets was undertaken in the first half of 2011. The evaluation by Capire Consulting Group found the ban has had a limited impact on public drinking levels.

The report also found the ban had not resulted in a noticeable increase or decrease in the community’s perceptions of safety and amenity. It found that local health providers had adapted their outreach services to be more responsive to the needs of vulnerable groups in Yarra. This comes after concerns were raised about the displacement of those groups in an earlier evaluation of the ban’s impact.

Here is a copy of the docx format Local Law 8 Evaluation by Capire Consulting Group (1.73 MB).

The evaluation was the second commissioned by Council into the impact of the ban. 

Here is the earlier pdf format Local Law 8 Evaluation by Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre (657.46kB), and here is a media release about it.

That evaluation made seven recommendations:

  • Awareness be raised about the existence of the law among the general public and licensees
  • Equitable enforcement of the local law by Police
  • Strengthened community support for marginalised groups
  • Outdoor space for the Parkies (members of the local Aboriginal community)
  • Increased knowledge on rights for public housing residents
  • Re-engaging with the Parkies
  • Ongoing monitoring of the impacts of Local Law 8

pdf Attachment 11.4.2 (27.4kB) (to the October 2010 Council meeting) provides some preliminary Council responses to the report's recommendations.

Special events - public drinking exemptions in designated road closure areas

From time to time, Council receives requests from local hotels to grant permission for temporary road closures during events like AFL Grand Final Day and the Boxing Day cricket test.

Part of granting that permission also includes an exemption from Local Law 8 to allow the responsible service of alcohol in a public area.

Further information
Chris Leivers
Director Community Wellbeing
9205 5100


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