Bin the Ban

By  |  0 Comments

**BREAKING NEWS:  In 2015 a facebook page was created called Ban the Ban.  This page was instrumental in stopping the council by law related to decreasing the allowable drinking hours in parks.  This page has now been reinvigorated and you can find it here    https://www.facebook.com/thisisstkilda/ **

 

 

Story by Martin Lynch

 

Ever enjoyed a refreshing beer or wine down by St Kilda Beach while having a picnic with friends, using the public BBQ’s, or watching the amazing sunset?

Well don’t even consider doing it this summer because you will be breaking the law and risking a hefty fine from Victoria Police!

If you’ve visited the St Kilda foreshore recently you may have noticed the daily occurrence of Police issuing fines to unsuspecting beach goers engaging in the great Australian tradition of enjoying an alcoholic drink at the beach.

Why can’t I enjoy an alcoholic beverage by the beach anymore?

The City of Port Philip (COPP) has recently passed a law enacting a total ban on consuming alcohol anywhere along St Kilda beach or it’s foreshore including Catani Gardens from January 5th – February 15th.

What is the Councils justification for this decision?

On Christmas Day, as happens every year in St Kilda, large crowds of people went to the beach to celebrate the festive day by the sea with family and friends.

Unfortunately local government failed to learn the lessons of previous years meaning there was little advance planning in terms of managing the day as an official event or providing enough extra rubbish bins necessary to cater for the inevitable massive crowds celebrating Christmas Day at our lovely beach.

The lack of planning and in-sufficient number of bins provided resulted in big rubbish clean-up being required the following day.

Ok, we need to keep our great beach clean and must make sure effective plans are made so this doesn’t happen again next Christmas Day! But I still don’t understand why the Council has enacted a total alcohol ban for over 6 weeks until February 15th?

Yes that’s a sentiment shared by many beach-goers who enjoy a drink by the beach in a safe and responsible manner.

However, instead of being honest with the public and owning up to their evident lack of planning for the expected crowds of Christmas Day, the Council directed all the blame to the beach-goers and publicly lashed out at them in the media stating that they “chose to trash the beach” and were “selfish”, “dangerous” and “intoxicated”, particularly singling out backpackers and tourists. The Council then decided to enact a total alcohol ban on our foreshore until mid-February.

Most tourists and backpackers are good people who respect the beach and their surroundings- why would the Council blame and defame them like this?

Yes absolutely, the visitors to St Kilda are part of what creates its unique, dynamic, and vibrant vibe. They also provide a life-blood to the traders of this suburb by providing business to their cafes, restaurants, bars, and hotels.

I suspect the Council have pushed the blame onto these visitors to deflect the responsibility from their own poor planning.

But I enjoy an occasional drink by the beach in a safe responsible manner. Why has this right been taken away from me because of one particular day?

Yes indeed, it’s a pleasure that’s enjoyed at beaches and parks all over Australia and up until recently at St Kilda too.

However its seems the council are out of touch with this sentiment and have decided to manipulate the issue of Christmas Day to pursue an agenda of totally banning alcohol consumption along the St Kilda beach & foreshore.

Don’t the Council have bigger issues to tackle than banning people from enjoying a drink by the beach?

Many people would believe so with major concerns including the depressing state of Fitzroy Street’s numerous vacant shopfronts, the exorbitant parking fees & alleged predatory tactics of the parking enforcers, the homeless problem, and the destruction of historic buildings such as the Greyhound Hotel to make way for developers to build apartments.

I believe the current Alcohol ban is unfair and we need to do something about it?

Here’s our opportunity!

The Councillors will meet to discuss extending the alcohol ban at their first meeting of the year on Wednesday 7th February @ Port Melbourne Town Hall. The meeting begins at 6.30 pm and is open to the public.

Join me at the meeting and have your voice heard by attending and sharing your view.

You can register to speak at the meeting on the night or in advance at this link- http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/request-speak-council-meetings.htm

 

Martin Lynch,

Concerned St Kilda Resident & occasional enjoyer of alcoholic drinks at St Kilda Beach

 

 

 

**BREAKING NEWS:  In 2015 a facebook page was created called Ban the Ban.  This page was instrumental in stopping the council by law related to decreasing the allowable drinking hours in parks.  This page has now been reinvigorated and you can find it here  https://www.facebook.com/thisisstkilda/ **

 

Find us on FacebookFind us on FacebookFind us on FacebookFind us on Facebook