The Night Time Economy in Yarra

 'Yarra’s Night Time Economy (NTE) Strategy 2014-18 aims to ensure night activities in Yarra are safe, well managed and inclusive.

The strategy, adopted by Council in June 2014, is a four year plan to further improve the safety, vibrancy and functionality of night time activities in Yarra.

It covers the dynamic dining, retail and entertainment precincts that Yarra is well known for, plus how Council can support community-based night time activities such as leisure and recreation, libraries, parks, sports and the arts.

The strategy includes three key objectives:

  • A safe NTE - at night public spaces are well-kept and people behave respectfully
  • A vibrant NTE - at night there are a range of people and ages, and a diversity of facilities and activities, not centred on alcohol
  • A functional NTE - at night entertainment precincts accommodate people at peak times, attract people to walk, cycle or use public transport and have adequate public amenities (e.g. toilets) and infrastructure 

The Night Time Economy Strategy can be viewed here:

pdf format Night Time Economy Strategy 2014-18 (837.64 KB)

The first year Implementation Plan 2014-2015 outlines the key actions from the strategy:

pdf format Night Time Economy Strategy Implementation Plan 2014/15 (872.48 KB)

The updated Implementation Plan (2016) outlines the key actions for the remainder of the strategy:

pdf format Night Time Economy Strategy Implementation Plan - May 2016 Update (408.01 KB)

Background and rationale for the project

The City of Yarra is renowned for its dynamic night life spread across a number of precincts. Yarra is unique and this is often why people come to live, work and visit here. The abundance of restaurants, bars and live music options provide important social, cultural and economic benefits.

The project Planning for our Night Time Economy began in response to media and community speculation about the negative impact of alcohol use at night. Discussion and research identified little evidence of this negative impact, aside from strong and consistent feedback that the amenity of neighbourhoods around entertainment precincts suffered due to late night activity.

Yarra’s population has increased by 10,000 since 2001.  With 20,000 new residents expected to move into Yarra in the next 15 years and even more visitors, this is expected to give rise to some conflict from the same area being used for entertainment as well as for residences. This conflict is expected to raise greater attention to amenity issues arising from night time activity, such as ambient noise levels, the cleanliness of public spaces and perceptions of anti-social behaviour.

In August 2013, Council produced a report on the outcomes from one year’s worth of research and consultation on improving safety, vibrancy and functionality in Yarra’s night time economy: PDF format Final report on Consultation and Research Program on NTE Aug 2013 (2.79 MB)

Research and consultation completed to date includes the following:

Cost Benefit Assessment of Yarra’s night time economy 

In January 2013, Council commissioned REMPLAN to deliver an assessment of the economic costs and benefits of the Night Time Economy (NTE) within the municipality.

The resulting report, found Yarra’s NTE alone contributes 8.4 percent of jobs to Yarra. This generates just under 3000 jobs valued at or $112,282 per worker and over 50% of these jobs are in restaurants, cafes and takeaway outlets. The total value generated from Yarra’s night time economy is $665 million per annum. The benefits outweigh the costs from night time activity 2.4:1.

The various costs and negative impacts associated with night time activities include health, noise and the policing of anti-social and criminal behaviour. It is estimated that 957 people are employed to service and manage Yarra City’s NTE across the sectors of health, police and emergency services, public services and transport.

pdf format Cost Benefit Assessment of Yarra NTE REMPLAN April 2013 (4.79 MB)

Further information
Erika Russell
Senior Planner (Community Health and Safety)
9205 5534

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