Wollongong alcohol exemptions to lure major events

View of North Beach, Wollongong, from the Novotel. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

View of North Beach, Wollongong, from the Novotel. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Wollongong City Council hopes to make way for up to 40 major events to be held in the city centre each year by seeking an exemption from established alcohol-free zones.

Under present alcohol-free zones, drinking is banned in central Wollongong between Swan Street, Gladstone Avenue, the rail line, Stuart Park and the foreshore.

However, council staff have recommended councillors vote to allow up to 10 alcohol-inclusive events a year at four key sites: upper Crown Street Mall, the lower end of the mall, Globe Lane and the arts precinct.

According to a report to be considered at Monday night's council meeting, the exemptions would allow the council to deliver its recently endorsed "evening economy" plan.

"It would ... support the evolving small bar, festival and food culture that is emerging in our city centre," the report says.

"It would also further streamline the event approvals process enabling street activation to take place ... to include activity such as food and beverage events, festivals, markets and celebration events that include an alcohol component."

Councillors are also being asked to endorse the renewal of alcohol-free zones in Helensburgh, Thirroul, Corrimal, Warrawong, Wollongong, Berkeley and Dapto and establish a new prohibition zone at Stanwell Park.

Existing zones are due to expire at the end of this month.

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