Proposed re-establishment of Alcohol Regulated Areas

The review of alcohol regulated areas across our local government area for 2022-2026 was adopted on 22 February 2022.

Proposed re-establishment of Alcohol Regulated Areas

City of Newcastle aims to provide vibrant, safe and activated public places and spaces for everyone to enjoy.

To help achieve this, City of Newcastle has a number of areas across our local government area where the consumption of alcohol in public spaces is regulated in an effort to improve public safety by minimising antisocial behaviour caused by alcohol consumption.

The Local Government Act 1993 provides NSW Local Government’s with the power to establish Alcohol Free Zones (AFZ) and Alcohol Prohibited Areas (APA) in locations where anti-social behaviour or crime has been linked to the public consumption of alcohol. AFZ and APA are collectively known as Alcohol Regulated Areas (ARAs).

AFZs can be declared in any public road or car park and include the adjoining footpaths and nature strips. The public consumption of alcohol is not permitted in these areas at any time, 24 hours a day seven days a week. Approved outdoor dining areas are exempt from AFZ restrictions.

APAs can be declared in any CN managed park, reserve and or beach. Once established, the drinking of alcohol is prohibited at any or set times e.g. prohibited between 8pm and 8am.

Alcohol regulated areas support NSW Police to prevent escalation of irresponsible street drinking to incidents involving serious crime and also aid public perceptions of safety in areas across the city.

City of Newcastle carried out a review of Alcohol Regulated Areas, which was placed on public exhibition for community feedback from 27 October to 26 November 2021.


Following the review, on 22 February 2022 Councillors adopted the Alcohol Regulated Areas (ARA) for a four-year period (2022 – 2026) and delegated authority to the Chief Executive Officer to temporarily suspend Alcohol Free Zones (AFZ) to facilitate the approval of licensed events not exceeding five days in length. You can access the Council papers here.

Project timeline

May - September 2021
Review of Alcohol Regulated Areas
We worked closely with NSW Police to develop the Proposed Alcohol Regulated Areas
27 October to 5pm 26 November 2021
Public exhibition
Community feedback is welcome on the Proposed Alcohol Regulated Areas

Frequently asked questions

Yes. You can carry alcohol through a regulated area if it is unopened. Make sure your liquor is stored in a bag.

Only if the event is licensed. Any event held in a public place must have a liquor license if people want to consume alcohol. If the event is not licensed, the normal rules apply.

City of Newcastle has consulted NSW Police throughout the review of alcohol regulated areas. 

Consultation also includes the public, local peak Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse groups, NSW Anti-Discrimination Board,  NSW Public Housing and Liquor Accords/licensees near proposed zones and areas.

We are looking to re-establish the ARA network for a four-year term, to 2025.

We've seen in recent weeks how much the Newcastle community enjoys picnicking. To facilitate opportunities for picnicking, we're looking to adopt timed restrictions which would allow the consumption of alcohol between 8am and 8pm at the following identified key picnic spots throughout the city:

King Edward Park, Newcastle
Hunter River Foreshore, Wharf Road edge up to and including Nobbys and Horseshoe Beach.
Bar Beach Hill, Bar Beach
Stockton, identified key streets and Hunter River Foreshore
Fort Scratchley, Newcastle East
Centennial Park, Cooks Hill
Nesca Park, Bar Beach
Civic Park, Newcastle
Foreshore Park, Newcastle East
Pacific Park, Newcastle East
Islington Park, Islington
Gregson Park, Hamilton

If the sporting club has a liquor licence, this will not change. It is the responsbility of the sporting club to obtain and comply with the conditions of the liquor licence.

Re-establishing  Alcohol Free Zones (AFZs) will not restrict existing liquor licences within approved outdoor dining areas. If the cafĂ©/restaurant has a liquor licence for the outdoor dining area and you are currently enjoying outdoor dining in this location, this will not change.

AFZs do not preclude an outdoor dining application from being approved nor the business's ability to apply for a liquor licence for this area.

In Newcastle, NSW Police. 

Section 642 and 632A of the Local Government Act allow a police officer to confiscate alcohol if it is believed that a person is or has been or is about to consume alcohol in established alcohol regulated areas.

Who's listening

Social Planner - Community Planning and Development

Phone: 4974 2000

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