December 30th 2010
"Comprehensive policing" planned for possible teen NYE party on Magnetic
A number of local business people have expressed concern to Magnetic Times over expectations that there is to be a "Facebook party" at Alma Bay with over 600 young people, many expected to be under legal drinking age, coming to the Island.
Julie Carmody from the Arcadia Store heard from an Island teenager that the party was being planned via Facebook.
"Happy New Year for who?" asks Julie Carmody. "In years past (though not every) the Island has been repeatedly subjected to these activities. It's not tolerable for businesses, residents and holiday makers who've chosen to come with young families.
Julie and partner Clayton Scott had their store vandalised earlier this year by kids hurling coconuts and smashing their large shop window. "Those young boys did terrible things to resident's as well." said Julie.
Following Schoolies Week in 2006 a riot of sorts occurred through the streets of Arcadia. At that time Magnetic Times reported on one bus driver, Mick Priestly, who said, "I was scared. I took seven direct hits to my bus from rocks and bottles." Mr Priestly claimed that another driver had a rock half the size of a football come through a window. "It could have killed someone had there been a passenger," he said.
"The enjoyment of New Year's Eve should be about getting together with friends and family; the barbeques, the fireworks and the entertainment being planned at various venues across the Island," says Julie Carmody.
"Why do we have to worry we will have to experience again this over-numbered activity which brings nothing but distress, damage and in some cases despair.
I would like to see New Years Eve come in in the same manner we live our lives through the year on the Island. With good will and tolerance."
Magnetic Times understands that the event had been planned by a Townsville girl but, following a Police request, she had removed the invite from Facebook. However, with social networking and various forms of electronic media now ubiquitous, it is likely that the invite may well have reformed in other locations on the net.
In a prepared statement, Queensland Police advised, "Police have undertaken significant planning to ensure a comprehensive policing response on New Years Eve at Magnetic Island.
"Additional staff will be deployed to the island for the festivities and the ferry terminal will be monitored to ensure people under the age of 18 are not in possession of alcohol.
"If necessary, resources from the Townsville District can be deployed rapidly to Magnetic Island."
Story: George Hirst
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