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Park lands booze ban trial extended

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A 24/7 dry zone trial in Blue Gum Park and Veale Gardens in the city’s south will be extended for one month, as the Adelaide City Council pushes ahead with its call to ban alcohol at all times across the park lands.

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Liquor and Gambling Commissioner Dini Soulio will extend the south park lands trial – originally scheduled to end on March 20 – for an additional 28 days to “assess its impact and determine the next steps”.

Under the trial, anyone who has or drinks alcohol at any time in Blue Gum Park or Veale Gardens can be fined up to $1250 by police, or given an on-the-spot fine of $160.

Those who wish to circumvent the ruling are required to apply for a $93 short-term liquor licence from Consumer and Business Services at least one week in advance.

The State Government launched the pilot in December in response to growing concerns by neighbouring residents and business owners that the city’s south had become prone to problem drinking and disruptive behaviour.

InDaily asked SA Police how many fines had been issued to people in Blue Gum Park and Veale Gardens since the trial was implemented, but a spokesperson said the data was not yet available.

In December, the city council requested that the State Government implement a blanket 24/7 ban on the consumption and possession of alcohol across all the park lands.

At the time a spokesperson for Attorney-General Vickie Chapman, who is responsible for approving dry zones, said the idea was “unworkable” – despite her cabinet colleague and Adelaide MP Rachel Sanderson lobbying to implement the ban.

A city council-led public consultation about the proposal ended last month.

The council’s community and culture associate director Christie Anthoney said she had received a “significant” amount of responses.

She said the council would provide key findings from the consultation to the State Government to help inform Chapman’s final decision.

The Hutt Street Traders Association has been a vocal supporter of a 24/7 dry zone in the park lands – claiming it would have an “immediate, positive and lasting impact” on addressing “ongoing concerns of excessive alcohol consumption and anti-social behaviour in the south park lands”.

But the SA Network of Drug and Alcohol Services claims there is “no evidence” that dry zones reduce the harm caused by alcohol misuse.

“Whilst there have been a number of trials of dry zones in Adelaide and some evaluations or reviews, none has developed a strong evidence base for their effectiveness,” its submission to the council states.

A spokesperson for Consumer and Business Services said it was awaiting an application from the city council to enforce a 24/7 dry area for the whole of the park lands.

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