Monday, November 15, 2004

Greens oppose more booze police

Greens Councillor Chris Harris strongly opposes Sydney City Council's move to establish alcohol free zones on approximately 100 streets and lanes throughout the City- an increase of 140% over current exclusion zones.

"Why are we planning to introduce these zones when police powers are more than adequate for dealing with drunk and disorderly behaviour? ", asked Cr Harris.

"The state government has armed Police with the Summary Offences Act, the Young Offenders Act and extensive search powers. This is not a local government responsibility and the City of Sydney should not be drawn into introducing these draconian measures" Harris continued.

"The Greens know that those who will bear the brunt of enforcement will be the homeless, public housing tenants, young people and members of the indigenous community. Areas targeted include the Glebe Estate, Redfern St, the Waterloo Public Housing areas, the Matthew Talbot Hostel, Edward Eagar Lodge, Foster House and the Wayside Chapel", said Cr Harris. "You can be sure that middle class drinkers won't be targeted by the police".

"We live in an exciting and diverse city, and we need to preserve that diversity. Council should not be wasting money on useless signs but should be putting money into outreach and positive programs that help people with alcohol problems."

Sydney City Council will debate the introduction of these alcohol free zones at its 15 November meeting. Cr Harris will be urging his colleagues to allow current zones to lapse and to discontinue the process proposed in the council agenda.

--press release

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