Alcohol and other drugs

Discover what Council is doing to reduce alcohol and drug-related harms, the expected public behaviours in Port Phillip and what you can do to help.

Alcohol and other drugs are present in Australia and for many are socially acceptable. This is especially evident with respect to alcohol. Within Australia, drinking alcohol is a largely accepted part of the culture. As alcohol is a legal substance it also brings economic benefits via employment, exports and tax revenue.

Melbourne, in particular, has enjoyed a reputation for providing a vibrant nightlife, in part due to the significant increase of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants, all of which largely evolve around service of alcohol.

The harms to individuals, families, communities and Australian society as a whole from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are well known and one that has wider social and economic costs. Drug use is a serious and complex problem, which contributes to thousands of deaths, substantial illness, disease and injury, social and family disruption, workplace concerns, violence, crime and community safety issues.

Council objectives

Our objectives are that the City of Port Phillip will:

  • work to improve its understanding of how alcohol and other drugs impact on the community and how harms can be reduced.
  • strategically plan, deliver and evaluate initiatives to reduce alcohol-related harms in Port Phillip.
  • collaborate with partners to respond to alcohol and other drug issues.
  • provide informed advice and communications concerning alcohol and other drug issues.



Port Phillip has the second-highest rate of alcohol-related hospitalisations and the highest rate of alcohol-related ambulance attendances in the Southern Region. Port Phillip has the fourth-highest rate of alcohol-related assault in the Southern Region.

Pharmaceutical drugs

Port Phillip has the third-highest pharmaceutical-related ambulance attendance rate in the Southern Region.

Illicit drugs

Port Phillip has the highest illicit drug-related hospitalisation rates and ambulance attendance rates in the Southern Region, in particular for amphetamines, methamphetamines and ecstasy.

The data describing alcohol and drug-related harms is accessed from the Turning Point website. This is a public data site and can be accessed at any time.

Local laws

Part of our approach to reducing alcohol-related harms includes controls on public consumption through alcohol culture change and our local laws.

This includes bans at certain times of the year and in certain places such as alcohol bans.

Behaviour in public

Police Officers have the power to move a person on if they believe on reasonable grounds that the person is, or is likely to:

  • breach the peace
  • endanger the safety of any other person
  • cause injury to another person of damage to property
  • cause a reasonable apprehension of violence
  • cause an undue obstruction to another person or traffic
  • procure or supply a drug of dependence
  • impede another person from entering or leaving a premises.

Drug use: what can I do

We often feel anxious when we see people in our community suffering the effects of drug dependency. It is important not to panic. It is most helpful to consider the situation and what role you could play in assisting.

More information

For more information or questions, contact us and ask for the Community Strengthening team.

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