Anyone wanting to have a beer with a barbecue lunch at Corrigans or Malua Bay reserves won’t be legally allowed to quench their thirst until the end of January, with new alcohol restrictions slapped on the popular spots.
Eurobodalla Shire Council rangers were spotted placing tape on the alcohol restriction zone signs at Malua Bay before Christmas, to hide the usual alcohol-ban hours of 8pm to 8am. Doing so made the ban applicable 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
However, after making inquiries, the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner discovered the ban at Malua Bay and Corrigans wasn’t due to start until New Year’s Eve, and was to run until late January.
A council spokeswoman said the signs were changed on about Thursday, December 20 – 11 days before the ban was due to start.
She said the changes came following a request from police to apply a 24-hour booze ban at Corrigans and Malua Bay reserves to reduce alcohol-related violence.
“This was following a request by the NSW Police who wanted council’s assistance to minimise drinking-related violence during the peak summer season,” she said.
“The changes made to these signs came into effect immediately and will continue to apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the end of the summer school holidays when council will remove the stickers.”
She said the decision wasn’t put to councillors.
“Under section 632 of the Local Government Act, a council may erect signs on reserves to impose restrictions without public consultation,” she said.
“In most instances, however, Eurobodalla Council seeks public comment regarding the imposition of alcohol restriction or change to restrictions, but the timeframe of the police request did not allow for this to occur in late December.”
Last week planning and sustainability services director Lindsay Usher said council used tape to alter the signs temporarily rather than spend funds to replace the entire sign.