Tweed Heads revellers will have to move their Australia Day celebrations or face a fine after Tweed Shire councillors voted to ban booze from a popular riverside park at Greenbank following outbreaks of ‘lewd and drunken’ behaviour.
Last year’s Australia Day celebration got out of hand in John Follent Park, with local residents also complaining about numerous outbreaks of violence and foul language.
A large amount of rubbish, including broken glass, was left to litter the foreshore parkland, which skirts the Tweed River south of the Jack Evans Boat Harbour for hundreds of metres.
Councillors voted unanimously to impose the ban after receiving a petition about noise, bad language and violence, along with numerous complaints from individual residents.
The Greenbank area is home to a high percentage of the town’s pensioners.
It will be up to Tweed police and council rangers to enforce the ban, which will become permanent from Australia Day.
Council staff have been erecting signs along the river warning of the booze ban.
The parkland became an increasingly popular venue for Australia Day drinkers after Queensland police clamped down on public drinking along the Coolangatta beachfront several years ago. Since then partygoers have drifted south, seeking parkland not subject to alcohol bans.
Acting inspector Brad Stewart said Australia Day revellers were encouraged to have a good time but warned antisocial behaviour would not be tolerated. ‘We will be making sure there is a police presence right along the river this Australia Day,’ he said.
Consuming alcohol is already banned along the foreshore behind Duranbah beach and in the Jack Evans Boat Harbour parkland.