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You’ll Never Get New Year’s Eve Blasted in Edinburgh Gardens Again

The Yarra City Council is really serious about not putting up with your bullshit ever again.
December 29, 2015, 2:45am

Image via Twitter

For residents of Melbourne's inner north, Edinburgh Gardens is a special place. It's home to all, where you can enjoy a cold one in the sun, yell something witty and devastating at a slackline walker, or host a semi-phoned in child's birthday. But for non-locals, it's famous for one thing: New Year's Eve 2013. Prior to that night, it was already a popular party spot for groups who couldn't tell if they wanted to spend the night chilling or getting lit. Sure it always got a little rawkus, and the portaloos were never up for the challenge, but it wasn't especially debaucherous. That was until two years ago when a combination of booze, warm weather, and dickheads created a party storm that ended in arrests, assaults, injuries, and a lot of pissing in rich people's front yards. It was a news bonanza. After the council spent 30 grand cleaning it all up, the city declared hipsters had ruined New Year's for everyone. For the record I was there, it was amazing. In response to the press and large clean up bill, the next year the council spent a quarter of a million dollars on security and fencing to make sure there wasn't a repeat performance. They also introduced an alcohol ban from December 30 until January 1. At the time Stephen Jolly, the one local councillor who questioned the move, told VICE: "NYE this year in Yarra and Edinburgh Gardens will be like East Berlin before the fall of the wall… They're spending $250,000 to solve a $30,000 problem." The backlash didn't end there. Local traders complained that the alcohol ban was bad for business and many residents lamented that the crackdown had a negative impact on the area's sense of community. They argued the ban was pushed through by a handful of wealthy residents who had complained the year before. So, a few days out from New Year's Eve 2015, with the help of local opinion, will we finally get our favourite party location back? No. Sorry. The Yarra City Council are still not taking any chances. In a media statement last week Mayor Cr Roberto Colanzi promised the alcohol-free local law would remain in place to "prevent unsafe and antisocial behaviour, and promote an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere". Although the council tried to comfort businesses and residents by pulling your mum's "we can still have fun" card. They added there would be "artistic light projections" to "provide additional lighting and help create a community-friendly atmosphere." A council media spokesperson confirmed to VICE that the New Year's alcohol ban was going to be a permanent fixture. When asked about the council's response to local concerns they said that after the crackdown, a committee with representatives from the community and local traders had been set up to discuss the matter. They concluded, "There was that consultation, and in the end council decided to put the ban on." Sorry to say, but Edinburgh Gardens' NYE blow-outs are officially a thing of the past. Hey, look on the bright side, this is Australia. You can still get shit-faced in the park 362 days of the year. Follow Wendy on Twitter