Night time economy in Yarra

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

The strategy, adopted by Yarra City Council in June 2014, is a 4 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 we can support community-based night time activities such as leisure and recreation, libraries, parks, sports and the arts.

The strategy includes 3 key objectives:

  • A safe night time economy - at night public spaces are well-kept and people behave respectfully
  • A vibrant night time economy - at night there are a range of people and ages, and a diversity of facilities and activities, not centred on alcohol
  • A functional night time economy - 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 

Implementation Plans

 The implementation plans outline the key actions from the strategy:

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.

In August 2013, we 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 (NTE): Final report on Consultation and Research Program on NTE Aug 2013

Research and consultation completed to date includes the following:

  • Yarra 5-9, Report on Yarra 5-9 NTE - a community discussion on entertainment, amenity and alcohol 
  • Night Time Economy Discussion Paper - March 2013
  • Cost Benefit Assessment of Yarra’s night time economy
  • Mini census: Patron modes of transport
  • Randomised survey of residents and traders
  • Pop up consultation booth on Swan Street - Policy Booth Report
  • Online forum - receipt of written and verbal submissions, stakeholder forums and Twitter (during March to May 2013).

Cost Benefit Assessment of Yarra’s night time economy 

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

The fey benefits of Yarra’s night time economy are:

  • Alone contributes 8.4 percent of jobs to Yarra
  • 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
  • Total value generated 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 night time economy across the sectors of health, police and emergency services, public services and transport.