Magnetic Island North Queensland
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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

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Jill Edwards-Davis
December 30th 2010
What a shame it is that teens these days seem to be unable to have a good time without becoming drunk, vandalising property, making an appalling mess and indulging in senseless violence!
Were we like that when we were young? I don't remember any of that though I do remember one party at which somebody arrived very drunk. A couple of the older boys, with that rarest of posessions in those days, a car, took him home....We were all very shocked. No, I don't think we were a bunch of boring goody-goodies, either; we enjoyed ourselves all evening, and woke up feeling fine next morning.
Marilyn Sheather
December 30th 2010
I'm equally concerned about the full moon party at X Base as I've been informed that it's the expected hatching time for the turtles. As a precaution, wildlife carers are staking out on the beach between the nesting area & X Base.
December 30th 2010
I think it a bit unfair to write all teens off because of the behaviour of some. Every year teens gather at Alma for the new year, every year (before & after) there is controversy about it. They go there bacause its 'fun' some get out of controll because they can. Solution? Why not plan a supervised event for teens at Alma? They are doing it themselves anyway, fighting it has not worked to date. There are some great local youth bands around, an organisation like the surf life saving club could sell drinks & snacks raising much needed funds. The council could privide more bins so rubbish does not build up. Security would come with an organised event taking pressure off Police.

Get the teens involved in organising the event, give them ownership of turning a negative into a positive, some may even be pleasantly surprised at how much teens of today can achieve when trusted & believed in....

(my mention of SLSC only an example only & not meant to be directed at that organisation specifically)

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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