Just ask us ... kids want a say in solving youth problems
A GROUP of local school kids, concerned about rising violent and drunken behaviour among their peers, has called for the formation of a youth taskforce to tackle the major issues faced by Tweed teenagers. The proposal was put forward at a youth forum organised by the Daily News this week in the wake of the illegal rave party held at Kingscliff last weekend. More than 350 local youths who congregated at the South Cudgen Reserve had to be dispersed by police due to the unruly and drunken behaviour in the group. But not before police were subjected to a barrage of disgraceful treatment. It was just the latest in a seemingly never-ending list of incidents involving out-of-control Tweed teens, high on drugs and alcohol. The Daily News invited the group of high school students into the company boardroom at South Tweed Heads to thrash out the big issues affecting local kids and see if they could offer some solutions. Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School captain%Alison McKenzie said a youth taskforce would create a bridge between adults and teenagers and give them a greater say in their future. She said the group could include school leaders and other teens concerned about what is happening on the Tweed, who met on a regular x basis and then passed the outcomes to authorities. "We are role-models for a reason so we can set an example," Ms McKenzie said. "We have an understanding of the kind of issues surrounding youth." Other ideas to emerge from the two-hour brain-storming session, attended by public and private school students, was for more late-night, non-alcohol venues such as cafes and live music clubs on the Tweed. "Adopting a police officer" to enable more interaction with the local police in an informal setting; under-18 discos and creating an awareness for the current facilities on the Tweed were%some of the other solutions put forward by the group of nine teenagers aged from 15 to 18. Tweed MP Geoff Provest said he%applauded the Daily News for its initiative in inviting the youth of the region to voice their opinion. "We need to develop and continue the line of communication with the kids," Mr Provest said. "This is the not old people telling young people what they should do; this is young people telling us what issues they are facing with regards to current and future facilities."