Youth push for Bunker reopening
By EMMA CORNFORD
WHEN the Bunker at the Grafton District Services Club was closed, regular punter Brooke Grayson was bitterly disappointed.
Instead of just sitting back and accepting it, the nursing student and two of her friends decided action was the only way to have the decision reversed ? so they started a petition.
"The Bunker was the best thing that ever happened to Grafton," she said.
"It got people off the streets, always had a really good atmosphere and there was hardly any trouble there."
Miss Grayson said the closure meant there were less places to go out in town, and young people had to travel further to go to a decent club.
"It was so close you could just walk. Now whenever you want to go and have a good night out you have to go down to Coffs."
With the petition in its early stages, only a handful of signatures have been collected, but Miss Grayson is confident there will be more ? and that it can make a difference.
"We've had all kinds of people sign it, including parents who want their kids to go there rather than somewhere that's not as safe. Everyone we've spoken to has heard good stories about it," she said.
"We're hoping we'll be able to leave it in shops and get signatures in the street."
GDSC general manager Arthur Lysaught said he doubted a petition would make any difference to the club's decision to close the Bunker nightclub, despite the club losing close to $12,000 a week with the closure.
He said although the Booze Bus and security at the venue were working well, it was the behaviour of patrons after the club shut which ultimately sparked the decision.
"With our sales down by that amount it wasn't a decision we took lightly," Mr Lysaught said.
"But we have a responsibility for a good and quiet neighbourhood and there was an element who were hanging around the streets and being noisy.
"We had one example of a young lady who stood outside a house screaming obscenities for 45 minutes ... and it was that element that, in the end, ended up being the ones who closed the Bunker."
But Miss Grayson said she would continue the petition regardless.
"I hope it will work. I think I can speak for all the young people when I say we want it reopened."