‘Never heard of this in my life’

Australia can be pretty strict when it comes to the consumption of alcohol in public, with there being steep fines in place in most jurisdictions for those caught drinking where they shouldn’t.

While Melbourne has a reputation for being Australia’s nightlife capital, one keen-eyed social media user spotted a sign that has locals scratching their heads. The sign in question, located in the city’s CBD near Marvel Stadium, appears to warn people against drinking in public between the hours of 7pm and 8am.

But, as many online pointed out, it makes no mention of what’s allowed after 8am, with some assuming that it implies drinking is fair game.

“Today I learned that as a native Melburnian, we’re allowed to drink in the city on the street at certain times. Let’s go,” a person commented.

The sign was found right near Marvel Stadium, in the heart of the city’s central business district. Source: Reddit

“It’s my first time here and I have been all over the world — this is one of the most interesting laws/signs I’ve come across,” another puzzled person said. “I’ve never seen those, I always assumed it was illegal no matter what time (having been fined for having a beer elsewhere),” wrote a third.

“Melburnian here — never seen this sign or heard of this law in my life. To think I could’ve been public day drinking all this time,” someone else joked.

In Sydney, it’s illegal to drink in public at all times throughout most of the city’s central business district. You can’t drink alcohol in a public place anywhere in Queensland, unless the area is a licensed premises or is declared as a wet area.

In Adelaide, the city’s streets and squares are dry areas 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Across all of WA, it is against the law for anyone to drink in a public place, like on the street, in a park or at the beach.

With all of these restrictions in mind, people questioned why Melbourne appeared so liberal.

Yahoo News Australia questioned the City of Melbourne to clarify what the sign actually meant. A confirmed that it was out-of-date and as a result, invalid. Likely much to the disappointment of many on social media.

“It’s an old sign and the website is correct — we’ll check the area for old signs and have them removed,” Yahoo declared. In Melbourne, consumption of alcohol is prohibited in public places in the central business district 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the laws last updated in 2019.

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