The City of Yarra has decided that the next new years eve celebration in Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy will be alcohol free. This is in response to the repeated trashing of the gardens in recent years on new years eve and Australia Day, with the worst example being last new years eve, where the gardens were so packed with irresponsible idiots that brave Ambulance staff refused to wade through the crowds for fear of injury and sexual assault.

The problem is controlling crowds and the alcohol they bring will cost a lot of money, arguably more than the cost of cleaning up the destruction. But it’s not as simple as that. How do you thoroughly clean a children’s playground of human shit? How many plant killing chemicals are required to make all those surfaces safe? What is required to make people feel safe returning to use those facilities?

The City of Yarra has been forced by legal concerns to do things differently. In recent years it has known there was the potential for large crowds and it was negligent in failing to provide enough lighting, bins and temporary toilets.

It was incompetent in failing to monitor social media for announcements and invites to unauthorised parties using amplified music, and for failing to shut those down as soon as they set up in the gardens. It allowed property it is responsible for managing to be overtaken by thugs and morons who caused significant property damage to fences as well as leaving behind litter and broken glass.

In future it needs to make it clear that, as permits for such activities will not be issued, setting up the relevant equipment will be considered trespassing, the equipment will be confiscated and the offenders removed from the gardens by force if necessary.

The council was also in danger of being sued for failing to manage public safety by allowing a situation to unfold that was so dangerous the Police could not control it and Ambulance staff could not help injured people. If someone has been seriously hurt in there they could have blamed the council and sought compensation.

Now the sniping begins. Socialist councillor Steve Jolly supports the young people having fun at the expense of ratepayers and the broader community. ALP councillor Roberto Colanzi has just sarcastically tweeted about the flyers promoting the event protesting against the potential alcohol ban that Jolly endorsed littering the streets as a metaphorical precursor to the main event.

A party with a degree of freedom to drink responsibly would be the best outcome for many people. But some people are unwilling or incapable of being reasonable and respecting the freedoms and safety of others. They unnecessarily cause danger and suffering to others and this should not be tolerated. Unfortunately, to prevent this, no one will be able to drink in the gardens.

You can’t blame the fun police for this. The blame is entirely with the party animals who ruined the fun for everyone else last year.

the next NYE at Edinburgh Gardens

6 thoughts on “the next NYE at Edinburgh Gardens

  • 25 August 2014 at 10:07 pm

    I think it was the year before last when the issue first blew up in the media. My nephew attended that year. He is a local and he and his partner had a great time and could not equate what they read in the media with their experience.

    It seems a shame to shut it down completely, but if I lived nearby, I am sure I would want it shut down. Could it become a managed event without it being an overmanaged event?

    • 25 August 2014 at 10:39 pm

      It could, but the compromises would not be acceptable to some. Pre-sale tickets would ensure limits on numbers and safety but would kill the spontaneity.

  • 26 August 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Andrew, what was it exactly that your nephew could “not equate” with reports after the event? Forget about drinking, violence and defecating in local streets – the evidence of a mass disavowal of social responsibility was there in plain sight for all to see the morning after in the acres of garbage strewn across the grass and piled high under the trees. I walked through it all in the shock on New Year’s Day, unaware of the ‘event’ the night before – it looked like the local tip had decided to do its rubbish sorting on public parkland for the day. Assuming your nephew took all his own rubbish home, did he not notice that others weren’t doing the same?

  • 28 August 2014 at 2:20 pm

    As a Nth Fitz resident who has attended most recent of the NYE festivities (but not last year’s) at the gardens. I have noticed (i) that the revellers are generally as well behaved as any AFL crowd and (ii) are generally well mannered and considerate; (iii) there are insufficient toilet facilities especially for women, and this (esp around and after midnight) leads to women resorting to desperate actions (iv) inadequate number of bins to place bottles, food scraps and packaging; and (v) the number of people attending has become too large. I didn’t attend last year as I am getting too old and was put off by the numbers. However, if the toilet and rubbish situation was addressed then I can’t see why the once-a-year event shouldn’t continue if the numbers could be kept to a limit

  • 28 August 2014 at 8:01 pm

    I play cricket and walk the local pub’s dog in Edinburgh Gardens, and would have to say I support the ban.

    If it was just an question of providing more toilets and picking up a bit of rubbish it wouldn’t be a problem, but the damage that was done last year was unbelievable. Apart from the vandalism, there was so much finely broken glass and beer bottle tops in the grass, and no amount of effort by the council could get it all. You can still find glass shards on the playing fields if you have a close look today.

  • 28 November 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Yarra Council just don’t seem to be able to understand what the source of the problem is. They have told the Yarra Pub cricket competition that they can’t have their Big Day Not Out at Brunswick St and associated ovals on 15 March next year as its the same day as the Melbourne Irish Festival (as it was last year) in line with their new “no big crowds in Edinburgh Gardens”.

    Can’t these morons who govern us appreciate that we aren’t talking a NYE bacchanalia here. Was it a problem last year? NO! So what’s with the knee jerk reaction?


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