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LIVE – Updated at 23:21 Follow live. Victoria to abolish public drunkenness laws in November 23:21 Adeshola Ore Victoria’s public

drunkenness laws will be abolished in November and not replaced by new move-on police powers, despite opposition from the state’s police union. The reform of the law –

which only exists as an offence in Queensland and Victoria – was first recommended in the 1991 royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody. It was later recommended in the

coronial inquest into the death of 55-year-old Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day who was arrested in 2017 after being found drunk on a train and later died in hospital from head

injuries sustained in a prison holding cell. Victoria’s attorney general, Jaclyn Symes, on Wednesday said the reform would not be “perfect” but said it would provide the

“best outcome for the most amount of people”. People, particularly Aboriginal people are still being arrested, put in cells and subjected to unnecessary trauma as

opposed to an appropriate response which will be a health-led response. Symes ruled out creating additional powers to replace police’s ability to arrest a person for

being drunk in public. But the state’s police union says abolishing public drunkenness without enacting additional laws to keep people safe is “negligent and reckless”.

The government committed to repealing public drunkenness as an offence in 2019 but cited the pandemic as a reason to delay implementing the reform.   23:10

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