Cabarita Youth Project co-ordinator Matt Cotter gets his hands dirty to combat youth crime.
Cabarita Youth Project co-ordinator Matt Cotter gets his hands dirty to combat youth crime. Blainey Woodham

Youth project to secure home

SINCE its creation late last year, the Cabarita Youth Project (CYP) has seen a reduction in youth crime and organisers are hoping to keep the ball rolling by securing a permanent home.

Volunteers and youth are currently fixing up the old post office in Cabarita, which is on loan to the CYP from Stockwell Developments.

“It’ll be a youth information centre,” youth co-ordinator Mr Cotter said. “We should have it up and running in the next 10 weeks. At least the youth can tap into getting some services and support.”

The post office site will become part of Woolworths when the area is redeveloped, therefore the CYP, as part of the Cabarita Beach Business Association, is working to set up a permanent youth centre.

“We have to get these things up and running so they’ve got somewhere to go and get off the streets,” Mr Cotter said.

“We want to bring together the gap between Pottsville and Kingscliff; not a lot of youth activities are happening in these communities.”

The CYP has identified two possible sites for a youth centre, Barbara Rochester Park and Recreation Street, and they are currently working with Tweed Shire Council.

“It’s a community problem and it’s going to take a community to get behind these kids to solve it,” Mr Cotter said.

“Finger pointing is not a solution.”

CYP chairman John Ryan said the centre would be an asset to the community.

“If there is not a designated safe and supervised place for them to meet they will congregate in public spaces creating issues for the community as a whole.”

Mr Ryan said the CYP has seen great results so far.

“It is pleasing to note that since Matt began working there is strong anecdotal evidence that instances of regrettable youth behaviour in Cabarita have been greatly reduced,” he said.

“We are realists and admit that alcohol and drugs are common in the younger community.

“However, we are realistic enough to know that left alone nothing will improve.”



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