Lake Wendouree Australia Day dry zone vote

LAKE Wendouree looks set to be a dry zone once again.

Ballarat City Council will vote tonight on making the lake alcohol-free for next year’s Australia Day event.

Drinking has been banned at the lake on January 26 since 2010 due to drunken behaviour deterring families from attending the community-oriented music event and fireworks display.

A report to be considered by the council recommends the lake area, including Wendouree Parade and the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, be alcohol-free from 3pm on Saturday, January 26 until 6am on Sunday, January 27. However, any licensed premises on the lake foreshore would be exempt from the ruling.

It is also recommended the council not issue any temporary liquor licences in the lake precinct while Australia Day events are on.

The report said a “consistent pattern of poor behaviour” has been identified at Australia Day events, usually only involving a small group.

“Public feedback has indicated that this has contributed towards making the events seem less desirable for the wide range of people wishing to attend, including young people, families and the elderly,” the report said.

“It is considered that a major causal factor for this poor behaviour is excessive alcohol consumption on the part of a minority of attendees.

“Whilst prohibiting such consumption in the area . . . will not guarantee an absence of adverse incidents, it should materially improve both the amenity and perceived accessibility of those events.”

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