Following an hours-long meeting on Wednesday night a ban restricting the consumption of alcohol on the St Kilda foreshore will be lifted.
The ban was first introduced in December last year after Christmas Day celebrations involving more than 5000 revellers left Port Phillip Council with a clean-up bill of about $23,000. The ban was extended several times over summer.
Councillors in favour of the ban hoped to make it permanent from November 1 to March 31 every year.
“I don’t want the consequences of being irresponsible with our position and allowing drunkenness,” said Mayor Bernadene Voss, who supported the ban. “We all know it [alcohol] contributes to domestic violence and anti-social behaviour ... water and alcohol do not mix.”
Instead, drinking alcohol will be permitted on the foreshore from noon until 8pm daily. A ban will remain in effect from December 24 to 26, December 30 to January 2 and on Australia Day.
Drinking in the street and glass are banned in Port Phillip at all times.
As reported by the Age Victoria Police has said offences in the area had decreased by 19 per cent this year compared with last summer as a result of the ban. It wants Port Phillip Council to pay $115,000 for extra police services that it believes will be needed as a result of lifting the ban.
More than 15 residents and traders spoke before the vote on Wednesday night, the most prominent of which included Stokehouse owner Frank Van Haandel, who supported the ban out of concern for the safety of his staff and families coming to the foreshore.
“When we talk about civil liberties who are we talking about?'' Mr Van Haandel said. ''Don’t underestimate the responsibility I have to my staff. They have parents and partners waiting at home,” he said.