In news that should send basically the entire inner north sprinting to Piedimonte’s, Yarra Council has voted unanimously to not implement a temporary booze ban on Edinburgh Gardens for the summer.
The popular parklands in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy North are already a fixture of summer life for inner-city residents, however coronavirus lockdown restrictions have seen usage of the park increase significantly in recent months as Government officials regulated gathering limits and largely restricted them to outdoor settings.
That increase in traffic lead to an increase in complaints from local residents, who reported issues of people using nearby laneways to piss in, as well as broken grass strewn through the park’s grassland. However Yarra Council also revealed the number of noise complaints stemming from amplified music being played in the park totalled just 19.
At a Yarra meeting last night, councillors voted unanimously to not implement the temporary booze ban that would have been in place through February as a “circuit breaker” for issues in Edinburgh Gardens, meaning the consumption of alcohol will still be allowed through the hot season.
Instead, council will establish a working group to address problems arising from increased park usage. That will involve a, quote, “campaign encouraging respect for neighbours and amenities,” as well as considering a move to increase the amount of bins and portaloos put in place throughout the Gardens.
Council has already increased the amount of portaloos present in the park from 20 to 51 in a bid to cope with the estimated 3,000-odd people who now use the park on an average weekend day. The number of bins placed throughout Edinburgh Gardens has also increased from 60 to 103. Anecdotally, lines for the loo in Edinburgh Gardens remain lengthy during peak hours, despite the increase in facilities.
Consumption of booze in Edinburgh Gardens is not permitted between the hours of 9pm and 9am, and will remain outlawed completely for New Year’s Eve, with council officials hoping to avoid a repeat of NYE 2014 when 15,000 revellers descended on the Gardens amid a wider crackdown on extended hours for licensed premises.
But outside of that, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from getting on the sip in the shady spot near the rotunda, before ambling down Scotchmer St to the Great Northern for a schnitty and a kick on.
And honestly? That’s bloody great.