Plan for alcohol ban put aside

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A bid to extend the coverage of the Gore district’s alcohol bylaw to include the Queens Park area of Mataura’s Main St will not be adopted.

The idea of extending the bylaw coverage area was mooted at the Gore District Council’s regulatory and planning committee in early June.

Cr Neville Phillips raised the issue of alcohol consumption in Queens Park and the vandalism of public toilets and suggested extending the alcohol ban.

A recommendation to extend the coverage area was endorsed by the council in June.

But a report presented to the council on Tuesday night recommended another course of action.

General manager regulatory and planning Ian Davidson-Watts said in his report to the council that following further consideration by staff, it had been found extending the alcohol ban area would have a significant impact on the rights of residents.

If the council were to go ahead it would have to have evidence there was a high level of crime and disorder in the area.

“That’s the key,” Dr Davidson-Watts said after the meeting.

Various agencies had been consulted about the proposal, including police and the Mataura Community Board, he said.

“As a result of this consultation and consideration of the relevant legislation provisions, it would appear that the council does not have sufficient evidence to link the vandalism occurring in Mataura to alcohol consumption, as required by section 147A of the LGA [Local Government Act],” Dr Davidson-Watts said.

The council decided to monitor alcohol consumption and vandalism within Queens Park and Tulloch Park.

council resources, in conjunction with the police, and would gather evidence on the link between vandalism and the consumption of alcohol in Mataura.

Cr Phillips said after the meeting he was pleased with the outcome of the investigation into the extension.

He was initially keen to have the bylaw extended to help the police deal with the problem.

It appeared the problems had only appeared since the toilets were installed at Queens Park, Cr Phillips said.

The monitoring being carried out would determine if there was a sufficient problem to warrant the introduction of an extension to the bylaw, he said.