Northern Beaches Council has rejected a bid to ban the consumption of alcohol 24/7 at Manly’s East Esplanade.
Cr Pat Daley and Cr Roslyn Harrison were the only councillors to vote in favour of the following motion: “That East Esplanade grass area be returned to a 24-hour alcohol free zone as it was previously. This is for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Cr Daley added: “This is a honey pot and it’s sending a message that drinking alcohol in public places is okay and it’s spreading, and I think it’s getting serious.”
But fellow Manly councillors Candy Bingham and Sarah Grattan argued the “office” drinks attracted a predominantly family crowd and was a tradition beloved by the community.
More than 5,000 people signed a petition against the proposed ban.
The debate highlighted confusion over what areas within the Northern Beaches do and do not permit alcohol, with a report now due back to council for clarification.