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Tension brewing as council considers Edinburgh Gardens alcohol ban

Article image for Tension brewing as council considers Edinburgh Gardens alcohol ban

With park patronage surging due to COVID-19 restrictions, which limited home gatherings, tension is brewing over a push to ban alcohol at an inner-city park.

A handful of residents living near Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy North have complained of drug use, overflowing bins and people using the streets as toilets, and are calling for the council to intervene and introduce a blanket ban on alcohol.

Alcohol is already banned in the park from 9pm to 9am, and at all times on New Year’s Eve.

But other residents are pushing back against the proposed alcohol ban.

Bran, who started a community campaign pushing back against the proposal, says it’s “really out of touch with the vast majority of people who live in the area”.

“I think the handful of vested interests who live near the park have had their views amplified, and this has come at the expense of the thousands of people who use the park in a safe and orderly way every week,” he told Dee Dee.

“It’s a place that we all love and enjoy, and we love being able to have a picnic there and opening up a bottle of wine or cracking open up a beer, and to take this step really takes something out of the essence and the soul of Edinburgh Gardens.”

Bran says the problem is a lack of facilities, and a surge in the number of people using the park while COVID-19 restrictions banned home gatherings.

“We need to solve that problem by putting more public bathrooms in, rather than putting a blanket ban on alcohol” he said.

The council will vote on the proposed alcohol ban next Tuesday.

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