New alcohol free zones get support

TWEED Shire Council is aiming to curb anti-social behaviour at a popular new youth hot spot in Tweed Heads South.

The council is seeking public comment about establishing new alcohol free zones in the public car park servicing South Tweed Swimming Pool, HACC and the new skate park.

An alcohol-fuelled night in Salt Central Park may need to rescheduled as Bells Boulevard, Salt, is also earmarked for an alcohol free zone between the hours of 4pm December 31 to 10am January 1 at the direct request of police.

Done along with a renewal of numerous zones around Murwillumbah, Kingscliff and Tweed Heads.

According to council's spokeswoman, the object of alcohol-free zones is an early intervention measure to prevent the escalation of irresponsible street drinking to incidents involving serious crime.

“The drinking of alcohol is prohibited in an alcohol-free zone and includes public places that are public roads, footpaths or public car parks,” the spokeswoman said.

“In the Tweed alcohol-free zones are enforced by the police and any person observed to be drinking in these zones may have the alcohol in their possession immediately seized and tipped out or otherwise disposed of.”

Murwillumbah CBD will have the most zones with 17.

If established, these zones will operate 24 hours a day unless specified and for a period of four years.

Ray Group CEO Tom Ray said he supports the application in the interest of providing a safe, family-friendly venue at Salt Village for New Year's Eve.

“Each year, Salt Village attracts hundreds of local and visiting families for the celebration, and as such, it is important that alcohol is served and consumed in a responsible manner,” Mr Ray said.

“To this end, alcohol will only be made available at licensed restaurants within the retail precinct.

“This decision has been made with the best interests of all residents and guests in mind, with an aim to stamp out underage and binge drinking, and the potentially dangerous situations that may arise as a result of these activities.

“A number of popular venues throughout the Gold and Tweed Coasts currently operate as alcohol-free zones, and in many cases this move has significantly improved celebrations held at these venues.”

Residents have until Friday September 18 to comment on the proposed zones.

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