Where have all the partiers gone? Photo: Vanessa Lim

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by Vanessa Lim

“Randwick Council works closely with the Eastern Beaches Local Area Command to create a safe, inviting and friendly environment over summer. The experiences we’ve had over the past few years show that alcohol is a major contributor to anti-social behaviour at popular beachside parks. We want our beaches and beachside parks to be accessible for everyone. These temporary alcohol restrictions on public holidays help our local police ensure our popular beachside areas are safe and inclusive for everyone.” – Randwick City Council

People like 19-year-old Noah Wilson see the benefits of the council ban on alcohol on the beach but doesn’t think a complete ban is fair.

Noah Wilson said, “I don’t think that’s fair. Groups of young backpackers are probably more likely to binge drink than, for instance, a family who are there with their kids, and the parents who just want to have one beer”.

She agrees fun isn’t decreased because there is a ban, and that they can go elsewhere to celebrate too.

“Just because alcohol is banned at the beach doesn’t mean you can’t have a drink elsewhere. There’s loads of other places you can drink socially as well, I don’t think it HAS to be done at a beach.”

“I know a few beaches that have at least one pub within a 5-minute walk from the shoreline, so you can spend the day on the beach and when you’re done, you can go get a drink with your friends at the bar.”

But bartender Adiana Talakai has a different perspective, saying the problem only moves elsewhere. “As a worker in one of the bars along the beachfront at Coogee, I find that places get packed more than usual now because beachgoers can’t drink near the beach so they move in to the bars where they get drunk”.

Disagreeing with the drinking ban, she suggested fines could be an alternative to the summer drinking restrictions.

“I mean there’s always a place to drink and have fun. But drinking at the beach parks and having bbqs in the open is such a good time and better than any pub, bar or hotel.”