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Police back Mulwala's alcohol free zone

Mulwala Police have supported Corowa Shire Council moves to make Melbourne Street an alcohol free zone for the next four years.

RACHEAL WILLETT May 6, 2014 3:07pm

Council is seeking community feedback on the plan which would see Melbourne Street, from the Victorian border of the ‘traffic’ bridge to the intersection of Corowa Road and Tocumwal Road and Inglis Street, from Melbourne Street to Sturt Street, declared alcohol free zones.

“Mulwala has previously had alcohol free zones which lapsed a number of years ago,” said Mulwala Police Sgt Grant Churchin.

“The previous zone was the whole of Mulwala which was a bit over the top. It was poorly sign posted and therefore almost impossible to enforce.”

Sgt Churchin said local police had requested the new zone only include Melbourne Street and he anticipated if the zone was implemented it would be well sign posted by council.

Council are also seeking to introduce alcohol free zones in Corowa and Howlong and welcome public feedback on the proposal until May 29.

“Mulwala Police welcome the reintroduction of the alcohol free zone as it gives police the power to seize any alcohol, and the bottle, can or receptacle or package in which it is contained, that is the immediate possession of a person in an alcohol free zone,” Sgt Churchin said.

Police can seize the alcohol if the person is drinking in the alcohol free zone or if the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person is about to drink, or has recently been drinking, in the alcohol free zone.

“We do see, on a regular basis, large groups of people drinking alcohol whilst walking to licensed venues along Melbourne Street,” Sgt Churchin said.

“The groups normally are holiday makers and have come from holiday accommodation or nearby caravan parks. This is normally during the summer holiday season.

“Often the bottles and cans are discarded on the ground or in gardens by people on their way to venues.

“I do believe it will be a good thing for the zones to be re-established as it is an effective way to reduce the consumption of alcohol in a public place and promotes Mulwala as a family-oriented destination.”

Police have always had the power to confiscate alcohol for minors which will not change. The penalty for obstruction of a police officer enforcing an alcohol free zone is a fine up to $2000.

More information on the proposed alcohol free zones can be found at the Mulwala Library and Council office in Melbourne Street or online at www.corowa.nsw.gov.au.

Feedback should be submitted in writing by May 29 to the General Manager, PO Box 77, Corowa, NSW, 2646 or emailed to council@corowa.nsw.gov.au

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