Anthony Keon, licensee of the Ballina Hotel, who presented 300 signatures on a petition seeking Ballinas first commercial alco
Anthony Keon, licensee of the Ballina Hotel, who presented 300 signatures on a petition seeking Ballinas first commercial alco

Ballinas main street declared booze-free

MARY MANN BALLINA community leaders hope a new ban on alcohol consumption in the main street will help put a stop to the vandalism and antisocial behaviour happening in the town at night.

The ban follows a run of vandalism in the town, including an incident last week, when someone 'went on a drunken rampage' and kicked in six shop windows on River Street. Local police and Ballina Hotel licensee Anthony Keon started pushing for the ban in March this year.

Police said it would assist them with the management of antisocial behaviour associated with drinking alcohol, which is happening on the footpaths of the CBD at night. Mr Keon, who had presented a petition to Ballina Shire Council with 300 signatures in support of the proposal, said he looked forward to the ban coming into effect. "The community support has been overwhelming, especially with the petition," Mr Keon said. "With the vandalism that has been happening in the town recently, I'm hoping this will curb some of it."

Up until now there were no alcohol-free zones in the Ballina Shire, however, alcohol is prohibited under the Local Government Act in all parks and reserves from 10pm to 7am.

At the council meeting on Thursday, deputy mayor Sharon Cadwallader said she welcomed the ban. "Our business community is doing it tough at the moment with all the vandalism," Cr Cadwallader said. "The zone is really needed."

The ban comes as Clarence Valley Council has just adopted prohibitions on the consumption of alcohol in Grafton, at Jacaranda Park, Bob Liddiard Park and Cedar Park. Clarence Mayor Ian Tiley said the action to tighten the public consumption of alcohol in the Grafton parks and deal with alcohol fuelled antisocial activity was a key part of the council's draft Crime Prevention Plan.



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