Yamba moves to tackle youth drinking problem

By JURIS GRANEY

RETAILERS in Yamba have made a pledge to stamp out underage drinking and anti-social behaviour in their small town.

Now a 'major issue', the Yamba Chamber of Commerce began preliminary discussions with liquor outlets, which will extend to police, Clarence Valley Council and business owners with a view to establishing a Liquor Consultative Committee to deal with the problem.

Yamba Chamber of Commerce's Ken Adams said an incident last Wednesday night in Yamba typified what has been happening increasingly for the past 12 months.

"You had 40 kids throwing rocks, crazy drunk and causing a nuisance in Yamba on Wednesday at about 11pm," he said.

"Local police are doing what they can and even they are getting sick of it."

The Chamber of Commerce convened a meeting between all liquor outlets in the town to hear their point of view about the problem.

"It is a real tough one for them (liquor outlets)," he said.

"They are being blamed by everyone about these types of issues so they really want to get the monkey of their back and address the issue.

"The meeting was very productive as they are concerned about this major problem in Yamba."

Mr Adams said with windows being routinely smashed in the town nearly every week, the problem was affecting everyone.

"Our insurance premiums are going up, our excesses are going up and people are just sick of it and want to do something about it," he said.

"All the businesses are stakeholders with this issue and they have been active in trying to do something about it.

"We can't keep hiding this and hope it goes away.

"When you have kids roaming the streets at 11pm, 2am and 3am you really have to start asking what the parents are doing and if they know what is going on with their own kids.

"Parents need to take responsibility for their children."

Mr Adams said they were expected to discuss the issue with Clarence Valley Council along with local police.

Later this year they will also be speaking to the police's liquor licensing branch to find out what can be done in the town.



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