Police urge revelers to celebrate Australia Day appropriately, and warn that officers will target anti-social behaviour

CELEBRATION: Police are asking people to mark Australia Day in an appropriate manner by taking responsibility for their actions, looking after their mates, and drinking in moderation. Picture: iStock
CELEBRATION: Police are asking people to mark Australia Day in an appropriate manner by taking responsibility for their actions, looking after their mates, and drinking in moderation. Picture: iStock

NSW Police will be out in large numbers - on land and on water - to help keep locals safe on Australia Day.

Officers from the Marine Area Command will be conducting drug and alcohol testing on the water.

Lake Macquarie and Central Coast boaties are reminded that the same rule that applies on the road applies on the water: there is a 0.05 alcohol limit.

A highly visible and mobile police operation will see general duties officers, assisted by specialist police, deployed across the state to ensure a safe and secure environment for all who choose to celebrate Australia Day.

Operation Commander, Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb, said large crowds are expected to join in events across the state and police will be there to ensure their safety.

"Over the past few months, the community of NSW and of our neighbouring states have shown how resilient and united we can be during times of crisis and hardship," Assistant Commissioner Webb said.

"Australia Day is more than just a public holiday - it is about appreciating everything that's great about being Australian, and this year that Aussie spirit of solidarity and incredible mateship should be recognised and celebrated.

"As with any major event, police will have a presence in the community with uniformed and plain-clothed officers patrolling the streets, targeting alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

"We are asking the public to mark the day in an appropriate manner by taking responsibility for your actions, looking after your mates, and drinking in moderation.

WATER LIMIT: Police will be out on waterways such as Lake Macquarie and Sydney harbour, ensuring that boat skippers adhere to the 0.05 blood alcohol limit. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

WATER LIMIT: Police will be out on waterways such as Lake Macquarie and Sydney harbour, ensuring that boat skippers adhere to the 0.05 blood alcohol limit. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

"Alcohol can impair your judgement and you can find yourself a victim of crime or before the courts - we don't want either of these for you or your friends.

"There will be additional police resources deployed on the ground, in the air, and on the water to ensure crowd movements are managed safely."

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said the national holiday celebrated our communities' solidarity.

"Over the past few months our emergency services have united to protect the thousands of people affected by the tragic bushfires across the state," Mr Elliott said.

"It's fitting that on Australia Day we recognise their outstanding and selfless work as they continue to support fellow Aussies over the long weekend."

Police are urging the community to monitor weather reports and follow health and safety advice, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting hot weather over the Australia Day long weekend.

"As the weather heats up, I cannot stress strongly enough to motorists that it's not only an offence for children or pets to be left unattended in a vehicle, it can be deadly," Assistant Commissioner Webb said.

"It's also important to drink plenty of water, stay cool, take care of others and seek medical advice if you feel unwell.

"If you see pets, children or vulnerable people located in a car, phone Triple Zero (000) immediately," she said.

As Lake Macquarie and Sydney Harbour are popular destinations on Australia Day, police are reminding skippers of their responsibilities in complying with the maritime laws and to have all the required safety equipment - most importantly, life jackets - on board the vessel.

Officers from the Marine Area Command will conduct drug and alcohol testing on the water.

For anyone heading out on the water, check the weather conditions prior to your departure, exclusion zones, and if movement times apply. Visit maritime.nsw.gov.au for further details.

A comprehensive Australia Day transport guide - with information for travel to and from events from 7am - is available by visiting transportnsw.info.

For details about what's happening in your area and further event-related information, visit the official Australia Day website: australiaday.com.au/

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