BLAST: 2005 at Yamba came with a bang.
BLAST: 2005 at Yamba came with a bang.

Backlash



BROOMS Head was the place to be for Clarence Valley teenagers on New Year's Eve and into the wee hours of New Year's Day.

Their party venue of choice, however, struck the disapproval of Brooms Head residents who yesterday said they wished the youngsters had gone elsewhere.

There were complaints of rowdy behaviour, vandalism and underage drinking.

Police, however, said only minor incidents occurred.

Through mobile text messaging, hundreds of young people from throughout the Clarence Valley converged on Brooms Head.

The teenagers were in high spirits, most were well behaved although noisy and some appeared too young to be drinking alcohol.

One Clarence Valley youth explained how it happened: "Everyone just texted everyone and let them know about where they were all going."

Brooms Head Caravan Park manager Anne Priem said many young people came to the beach for one night.

The park was booked out with more than 1000 people over the new year period.

Mrs Priem said tables and chairs from the caravan park were thrown into the ocean, the toilet blocks vandalised and shower heads broken.

"We had some vandalism but they were reasonably well behaved," she said.

"They looked very young and they were drinking."

Mrs Priem said it was worrying seeing young people on the roads ? most were along Ocean Road and on the beach outside the general store.

"They were not staying in town, they only came down for the night," she said.

"There was a lot of broken glass and litter in the street."

A 17-year-old party-goer, from Southgate, said although there was a strong police presence at Brooms Head his cousin was threatened and his younger brother was punched in the head three times by another teenager.

"There were heaps of fights, mostly down on the beach," he said.

"The cops were pretty good, by the end of the night you could tell they'd had enough of us, but I would too."

He said he thought part of the problem was there was no venue for young people to go to.

He said the Brooms party was attended by people between the ages of 14 to 21 ? the majority were drinking.

Another youth, 16, said: 'Brooms Head was the place to be for New Year's'.

"We all jumped into our mates cars and picked up others along the way," he said.

At Yamba, police said no-one was caught by the random breath testing unit and there were only two arrests on New Year's Eve ? minor charges for offensive behaviour

Sergeant Greg Levey said most people converged on Flinders Park on Yamba Hill to watch the fireworks on Main Beach, where he estimated there were more than 2000 people.



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