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.