YAMBA FIGHTS BACK

By ADRIAN MILLER

YAMBA residents, fed up with vandals running riot in the town, are planning a public forum to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Locals say enough is enough, and with the help of Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell, are determined to reduce the problems in the streets. Bad behaviour at Yamba has brought a series of letters of complaint to The Daily Examiner.

In a letter published yesterday, Maclean and Yamba Security Services owner Jamie Stokes listed problems at night in the Yamba central business district.

Children who regularly spent the night in the CBD were affectionately known as street lizards, it was stated in the letter.

In a P1 story in The Daily Examiner on January 13, Ocean Court residents in the Beachside development complained that young louts were throwing rocks over back fences, smashing windows and damaging roofs.

In a P1 story in The Examiner Weekend Edition January 22-23, it was reported that firefighters controlling blazes in Yamba bushland found themselves under siege when a gang of youths attacked them.

Yesterday, Helen Harvey, an organiser of the Yamba protest forum, said teenagers were running rampant at Yamba.

"We can't let it go on anymore otherwise the kids are going to run the town and Yamba's going to be no more," she said.

"During school holidays it's happening every night of the week, other than that it's every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night."

She said ongoing vandalism had to be stopped, one way or another.

"It's like do I take tactics into my own hands and clobber them because that's what they need, a bloody good hiding," she said.

Mr Cansdell said the forum would be the first step in rectifying a major behavioural problem at Yamba.

"It's a stepping stone to get public pressure on the Government and it's a way for the public to get out there and express their concerns," he said.

"The aim is to highlight the issues and to try to work through them and get resolutions to them."

He said the forum would include representatives of the police, community leaders, the Aboriginal community and council youth officers.

Mr Cansdell said while no date had been set, the forum would go ahead within next few weeks.

Ms Harvey said the main issue of the forum would be the lack of police numbers in the town.



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