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Alcohol Free Zones

The objective of alcohol-free zones is an early intervention measure to prevent the escalation of irresponsible street drinking to incidents involving serious crime.

Council approved footpath alfresco dining areas are not included within the alcohol-free zones. These areas are clearly delineated by signs.

To validly establish an alcohol-free zone a council must comply with the procedures in sections 644 to 644C of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) and the Ministerial Guidelines on Alcohol-Free Zones (Guidelines), 2009.

Within Port Macquarie-Hastings area the enforcement of alcohol-free zones alcohol-prohibited zones is the responsibility of the NSW Police force. 

What are Alcohol Free Zones

Alcohol Free Zones (AFZ) apply to public roads, footpaths and car parks and prohibit the drinking of alcohol 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

These zones are made to create a safe environment where people can move around without interference from irresponsible street drinkers and are normally located in precincts where there are a number of licensed premises and medium to high pedestrian activity.

The zones are developed under the NSW Local Government Act (1993) and can be established for a maximum period of four years.

AFZ work when other strategies are also developed to promote a culture of safety. In the Port Macquarie-Hastings some of the other strategies that have been developed include:

  • 1.00am lockout of licensed premises
  • An active Liquor Accord with a strong local membership
  • Secure Taxi Rank in the CBD                         

Police and Rangers enforce AFZ and have the power to confiscate alcohol from those found with open alcohol.

There are currently no current alcohol free zones in either Wauchope or Laurieton CBDs.


 Alcohol Free zones fact sheet412KB pdf(PDF, 412KB)

Alcohol Free Zones

What about parks and Reserves?

 Port Macquarie-Hastings Council wants to ensure our parks, reserves and beaches are great places for everyone to enjoy.

The Alcohol Use on Public Reserves and Beaches Policy acts as a framework for alcohol consumption at these special places. The Policy was first established in 1996 and has been amended at regular intervals in accordance with changes of policy and regulations in the Local Government Act and NSW Alcohol Legislation. Under the Local Government Act 1993, the process for restricting drinking of alcohol on parks, reserves and beaches, is called an Alcohol Prohibition. The main difference between Alcohol Prohibitions and Alcohol Free Zones (AFZ) is that AFZ apply 24/7 where as Alcohol Prohibitions can be established for particular times and particular days.

To ensure we are looking after our community, under the Policy the following locations have alcohol restrictions:

  • Alcohol Prohibition Zones at all parks, reserves and sports fields across the local government area between 9.00pm and 12.00pm (noon);
  • Council has also established an alcohol prohibition period from 9pm January 25th to 12pm (noon) January 27th;

For more information please read Council’s Alcohol on Public Reserves and Beaches Policy

This page was last updated on: 04 May 2021