Hyperlocal news about Melbourne's first suburb: Fitzroy 3065

Edinburgh Gardens trashed again on new years eve


Edinburgh Gardens was thoroughly trashed again last night during out of control parties and gatherings. The City of Yarra was aware of similar problems in previous years but did nothing to pre-empt the trouble apart from supplying more rubbish bins and portable toilets. It needed to do far more.

I’m not impressed when I see councillors tweeting about such problems as if they are casual spectators with no power to change anything. We elected these councillors to take action on community concerns like this. They seem to have no authority to order their incompetent staff to actually do anything proactive or constructive.

Last year the new years eve trashing was soon followed by the Australia Day trashing. Will the City of Yarra finally learn in time to prevent Edinburgh Gardens being trashed again on January 26? I doubt it. Fucking morons.


  1. This is yet again a saddening story and the complete fault of the Yarra City Council. The devastation left behind by inconsiderate youths is disputable, and unacceptable. The Yarra City Council promoted the gardens as a venue for NYE on their website, but have this morning removed the story. Why is this allowed to occur each public holiday, year after year? Why does it them become the responsibility if Fitzroy North residents to clean up the mess left behind by these inconsiderate idiots? Why weren’t the police arresting all drinking in public, or destroying property?

    • “Why weren’t the police arresting all drinking in public, or destroying property?”
      I was there, there was about 20000 people and 10 cops. 95% of the people there were drinking, you couldn’t walk a centimetre without kicking a discarded bottle.
      There was way way too much chaos and far too many people doing illegal things (drugs were everywhere) for the police to do anything about it.

      • Only a minority would have been causing criminal damage, for example. They could have arrested the people that climbed and broke the fence next to the tennis courts or bowling club.

  2. Hi Brian, great post, really constructive. I mean, you’ve got all the answers. “Fuckin morons” being a particularly insightful comment on the City of Yarra as a whole. I guess you are just another middle aged bloke complaining about how the fucking Council gets everything wrong. Ive just been down the park and listened to lots of residents give their piece to the mayor during the clean up – where were you?

    • It’s not my responsibility to clean up after morons.

      • Why do you see it as not your responsibility to physically clean up after ‘morons’ however you see it as a responsibility to tell Council how to better manage ‘moron’ behavior?

        • I clean up after myself and believe it is the responsibility of all people to do so. It is also the responsibility of council to manage public spaces like parks to prevent such problems from happening. They failed to do so. As a ratepayer I have the right to make my expectations of council clear. I’m helping to pay for the cleanup.

          • I would be curious to hear your ideas of what council should have done.

          • Please see my subsequent posts on the issue.

          • Hi Brian, you were asking what I think the council should have done. That is such a tough question because morons that break down fences and break bottles on the ground where other people have to sit will completely ignore any ‘reasonable control’ that any ‘reasonable person’ would abide by.
            That being said, I do feel that a complete review should be done as to EXACTLY how much crowd supervision is required per thousand of heads in attendance at any given event.
            Just as the Fire Brigade, Police and Ambulance can call for as much backup as they need for any given situation, the councils also need some serious backup to call on when these events grow beyond the number of people that was expected, even if the councils combine their resources to put such backups in place.
            Controls may include, lot’s of extra staff supervision at an event. People not so much with police powers but staff who can direct people to toilets, taxi’s, bins, food etc. Who have the ability to befriend certain segments of the crowd and who, if promoted properly in the media have genuine people power behind them (obviously, police backup should also be on scene).
            Extra bins, toilets, even extra food vans, should be available on demand. I know that this will cost and is a logistical challenge, but you simply cannot expect the controls put in place for say 5,000 people to have any impact on a crowd of 20,000 and these plans need to be in place for WHEN or even IF the crowds become larger than expected.
            Maybe organisations such as the salvation army, red cross etc. could be offered large financial incentives to quickly move people and resources into such events, especially while the crowd is still friendly and everyone is still in high spirits. It’s actually a good practice drill for them as well.
            I don’t know if this suggestion even makes sense to you but when someone’s best guess as to how many people will rock up to an event is quickly overtaken, there simply has to be an emergency contingency measure available, not just the police coming in to control a large angry mob that is getting out of control. Thank’s for your question, Shane

  3. I walked around there this morning and it’s actually worse than last year, although they are doing a much better job in cleaning it up.

    I wonder how you can stop this behaviour? How do you shut down a park? Do you put a fence around it and let no one in? Do you put a fence around it and ban glass & alcohol?

    alcohol consumption in yarra parks is against by-laws after daylight hours , but how do you police thousands of people once they are there?

    it’s only going to get worse…People were streaming into the place all afternoon from all directions – Suddenly within 12 months Edinburgh Gardens has become a “venue”

    It was like a bomb had gone off…..what’s wrong with people? Even the recycling bins had been pushed over

    • Think it was bigger than last year… estimated 20,000. Shows a couple of things… 1. people like to go to parks as opposed to venues. 2. there is a horrendous binge drinking culture here 3. The park is getting more and more popular (best park for people in Melbourne in my opinion) and 4. Next year is going to have to be more intensively managed – can we ban glass??

  4. Breaking it up into different areas with different limitations may help, with alcohol areas ticketed to pay for security and cleanup. Big security is needed to stop anti-social behaviour, damage to property etc. Roving litter police prosecuting people who litter should be employed.

    • I think you may have found an answer Brian. Surely it would cost the council a lot less money to employ security guards and install fences, then the cost of cleaning up the mess and ensuring the park is fit for purpose once again? Last year the Yarra City Council blamed the City of Melbourne for promoting the park as a NYE venue. Given the YCC itself promoted the park as a NYE venue, who are they going to blame now? Of course, those party goers are mostly to blame, but the blame goes to the YCC too. After all, if you leave a juicy bone in the ground in front of a dog, you can’t get angry at the dog for eating the bone.

      • I think the City of Yarra is potentially liable for some of the injuries as the darkness in the park contributed to some of the injuries, as did the freedom of people to bring glass bottles. There should have been temporary lighting installed and a glass ban, as well as guards protecting property. The losers who shat on the playground equipment need to be found and fined the thousands of dollars it will cost to clean up their mess. Making entry to the park a paid ticket would reduce numbers and pay for the general cleanup. Selfish morons don’t have the right to make a mess for others to suffer.

  5. I think you are right that it needs to be broken down to manageable spaces, but it’s a shame that the park has been overtaken suddenly as a venue for these events.

    I love the gardens, and love how broadly they are (normally) utilised as a communal space, but this volume of people is way too many, and there is no respect shown for that same space from them.

    What is wrong with people? How hard is it pick up after yourself and respect those around you?

  6. The Yarra City Council is to blame. They promoted the Gardens as a NYE venue in their website, and procured the running of articles in The Herald Sun and The Age last week. Obviously, the message got out, and the Yarra City Council should not now be acting surprised about the mess, yet again! The gardens are becoming a drinking wasteland for youth, especially on the weekends where despite the signs, loud music is played while youth drink and leave mess behind. I no longer walk through the gardens with my child, as there used to be broken glass and beer bottle caps everywhere, and late on a weekend afternoon, it’s just too dangerous given the boozed up kids.

  7. Really insightful and intelligent writing Brian. Fantastic community spirit. Keep it up mate.

  8. Next year mount floodlights in the trees and light up the area and play Wiggles music at full volume maybe that will deter some of the vacuous tossers from mindlessly trashing a great park.

  9. It’s a park people and it should be enjoyed by all. While there is definitely room for improvement the last thing we need is restrictions placed on it’s use.

    Residents purchased their homes knowing there was a park there and fully aware that it is used by the community and that it would generate noise. It’s like buying a home next to a nightclub and then complaining about the noise. Deal with it. Yes some mess was created but it’s NYE!

    We live on Brunswick Street and have to accept that people will be disgusting most nights of the week, urinating on our doors and shooting up in our lane ways etc. We accept it because it’s part of the fabric which makes Fitzroy, Fitzroy. In return we have access to city and everything we want on our doorstep.

    To the comment that the park is a “wasteland for youth”. Really? Do you really think that’s true. All you are doing is fuelling the misrepresentation to the wider community that there is a terrible problem. We use the park most days of the week to walk our dogs – it’s lovely and full of energy. So people have fun with friends – that’s what the park is for. It’s not to be viewed from a window of your million dollar home.

    If it’s really that intolerable move to Coburg – lovely and quiet there although they do have a Mr Whippy van which makes some noise!

    Happy new year.

    • You’re wrong. It is not reasonable to simply accept this behaviour. If people can’t freely choose to share with consideration for their neighbours limitations should be implemented.

  10. Justin, you have a warped sense of what constitutes the “fabric which makes Fitzroy”. Does that fabric come complete with shit stains? If you don’t mind faeces and urine on your front door well poo-ey for you. Enjoy the fabric of North Shitzroy

    As for the park, it is a public space but that doesn’t abrogate one’s responsibilities to allow others reasonably quiet enjoyment of their home or neighborhood. In any case, as far as I am aware the laws relating to noise or any other kind of pollution still apply.

  11. I set up a soundstage on NYE. Had a great time, complied with the councils request to clean up after ourselves, turn the music down soon after midnight, use common sense etc. We packed up at 1am, cleared any rubbish and bottles from our area and left. The people we played for had an amazing time and are quoted as saying ‘best NYE they’ve had’. Yes the rubbish, injuries, damage to property and arrests should be elimated but there is obviously a need for this type of event to happen. It’s just about magangment and planning. Having the YCC on top of this by next NYE/Australia Day is the solution.

    • Amplified music is prohibited in Edinburgh gardens as is consumption of alcohol after 9.00pm. These laws were designed to promote reasonable enjoyment to ALL park users not just those selfish people hijacking the park for excessive and inappropriate and anti social events such as the NYE debacle. The local rate payers pay for the clean up.
      The Council is negligent in their responsibilty to manage the park properly. They continually ignore flagrant law breaking activities and fail to respond adequately.

    • Did you inform council beforehand that you were planning to provide amplified music, which is banned in the park? What was their response?

  12. Australian alcohol culture is somewhat tragic – 20,000 people self-medicating in order to avoid having to socialise in a meaningful or respectful way with other human beings doesn’t really amount to much of a ‘celebration’ of the arrival of the New Year at all, does it? And since when has Fitzroy become synonymous with drunken binges in public areas? Fitzroy was once the beating heart of Melbourne’s bohemia. I don’t see why residents should have to put up with this kind of juvenile freeloading alcoholic tourism. Perhaps the City of Yarra should just install pop up sprinklers across the park and designate Dec. 31st, 2014 as a night of watering and park maintenance.

  13. Yes I spoke to the council beforehand (Melbourne city and YCC) . The general consensus for gatherings in the parks was as long as the group stayed below 40 people and the music is kept to a considerate level you don’t need a permit. There was a about 20 people that attended with me. The sound system we used was modest (2 x 8 inch speakers and a small sub) which we faced away from houses and placed in a sheltered area to minimize noise. We spoke to the council at the park on the day where they informed us on what we needed to do to be considerate of the local residents and park property, which we adhered to. I am in complete agreement that binge drinking, littering, vandalism, violence and unreasonable sounds levels are not acceptable, something that can be prevented with planning and management. There are always going to be the 25 people out of the 10,000 who behave inappropriately but that shouldn’t ruin in for the remaining members of the community.

    • The quantity of rubbish left behind indicates that most people, not just a few, behaved inappropriately in not putting it in a bin or taking it away with them.

  14. From being there an experiencing it personally the littering and sanitation problems where largely due to a lack of bins, lighting, staff, security and toilets. The 25 people I was referring to where those who vandalized the tennis court fence, were hostile towards the police and those who needed medical attention due to self inflictided harm. The solution is not stopping this community from celebrating NYE in the park but rather managing and planing the event adequately.

    • The solution is to not accommodate or condone anti-social behaviour, but to prevent it from happening. Yarra ratepayers should not be subsidising a party for others. If people want a supervised party venue they should pay for it.

  15. I agree that anti-social behavior should not be condoned and that local residents should not have to foot the bill for this event. Those considerations would fit into my definition of ‘adequate planning and management’. Something that hopefully the council will execute successfully next year.

  16. Here is a perspective from Andrew Bolt who seems to think

    “Socialists and greens don’t pick up rubbish”

    He neglects the possibility that the worst of these people might be bogan blow-ins from the suburbs

  17. The amount of trash left on the ground at the Edinburgh Gardens seems to symptomatic of a much larger problem, public etiquette is gradually being eroded away.
    The amount of trash left on the tables at McDonalds, (especially by larger groups of people) and other fast food restaurants for one is appauling.
    Why don’t these people use a full service restaurant?, it’s simple, they can pay a fraction of the cost and there are seemingly no consequences for their actions.
    Children are the most beautiful and precious resource we have on this planet. Children love to be given little tasks to do and when taught to use some manners and show respect for property are a pure delight. I would no sooner have allowed my children to leave their table at McDonalds in a mess, than I would our table at home. I have never left anything on a fast food table in my life, whether that was McDonalds or anywhere else, on the contrary, I have even thrown out trash that wasn’t mine. We are taking our most precious resource, our own children and we are showing them by example that it’s okay to leave a pile of trash on a table that was clean when we found it and to simply take every other facility that has been provided for granted and no one is answerable to anyone. Every trip to McDonalds or any other fast food restaurant is the most wonderful opportunity to teach our children, manners, respect and common decency, we are their role models. If we fail to do this, the $30,000 clean up in the park above will just become the tip of the iceberg. Maybe if our youth are taught not to trash our restaurants we may eventually end up with much less trash in our parks and gardens as well.

    • Good point Shane, in that I think its indicative of a much larger social and cultural attitude to personal responsibility and understanding the impact of behaviour on others. In an age of “me, me, me” very few get the importance of why they should be responsible for themselves, or give a damn about other people’s reactions to their behaviour … until it happens to them – when they scream bloody murder.

      As for your McDonald’s analogy, I think the best any parent can do is to avoid that or any similar fast food chain – except, perhaps if their child is conducting a sociology experiment and wants to observe the negative impact of industrialisation on social, sartorial and nutritional values …

      • Hi Andrew, as a father of four children I simply cannot accept the label you have given to fast food outlets. While many service stations have closed their rest rooms due to the disgusting condition left by those that trash them, while many councils have literally abandoned public toilets and their are no public toilets in small shopping centers, macka’s with their clean restrooms, children’s play equipment and a soft ice cream here and there has been my savior on many occasions. This forum is not about nutrition it is about behavior. My children were made to clean off our table at McDonalds or other fast food restaurants, they were made to behave and be considerate of others and these are the adults they have become. While you may think it’s okay to trash these places with words, too many others think that it’s okay to literally just go in and trash them. To see what’s going on right now, you really need to visit one of these places to see first hand the social etiquette that is being passed on to this generation.

        • Thanks for the insight Shane, but I think you’ve missed my point – albeit that an inititial attempt to equate the trashing of Edinburgh Gardens with cleaning up after oneself at McDonald’s could be construed as tenuous.

          I’ve had the infrequent misfortune of experiencing these fast food chains and would suggest that “as a parent” I find McDonald’s and most of their competitors to be hideous blights on our collective social, cultural and nutritional landscape. Although many might agree with me, my role as a parent on the topic is irrelevant.

          With regards to commentary on nutrition versus behaviour, one might readily argue a direct correlation between the two – something a raft of reputable studies have demonstrated. Sprinkle generously with some moral decline and add a dash of selfishness, but hold off on the side serving of personal accountability … however clearly that’s a much larger and more pithy topic of discussion for another time and place.

  18. I had a great night at Edinburgh. However, by 10pm all of the bins within a 20m radius were full or overflowing.

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