Bay NYE alcohol ban gets watered down


ALCOHOL will not be completely banned at Byron Bay on New Year's Eve.

Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham has clarified the rules of an alcohol prohibition in the town centre on December 31 after meeting with representatives from local liquor outlets and the police.

Cr Barham apologised to the group for the lack of consultation in defining the exact restrictions to be enforced.

She said people will still be able to buy alcohol from bottle shops and hotels in the town centre until 9pm.

"The operation of the bottle shops in town will not be hindered ... the operators are happy to work with the New Year's Eve Safety Committee to ensure a safe event," she said.

"The prohibition is designed to create a safe town centre precinct and restrict the taking in and consumption of alcohol in that defined area."

Cr Barham said police would be given discretionary powers to deal with people with containers of alcohol in their possession.

She also proposed a system of tagging bags and packaging to identify unopened alcohol that had been bought for consumption at restaurants or outside the central business district.

"The town centre precinct will be a place for a community and family-friendly event under the theme of peace and the environment," she said.

"The alcohol prohibition on the streets will be in place to ensure the safety for young and old who want to join together for a safe and peaceful celebration of the New Year.

"Byron Bay will continue to be a town that offers a diverse range of holiday experiences, and it is a priority that the safety of visitors and locals is considered."

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