Safety rally attracts 1000
“ENOUGH is enough.”
That was the cry from the near-1000 crowd that turned out to yesterday’s rally at the Cudgen Leagues Club.
What started out as a meeting between concerned parents, the Safer Communities Alliance has now well and truly switched on the people power of the community.
Asking for signatures on a petition circulating at the rally, these residents, who say something needs to be done to stop youth violence, have now gained the attention of the police and politicians.
“This petition is about curbing youth gangs and brutality,” rally organiser Simon Nance said.
“Right now as it stands, about 3000 people have signed it.”
Mr Nance said although the rally was peaceful, the message was powerful.
“We’ve had a great response today,” he said
“We want to send a message to Parliament. We will present the petition to Geoff Provest, who will take the signed pledge down to the legislature in Canberra.”
State member for Tweed Geoff Provest described the rally as “the day that Tweed stood up”.
“It went extraordinarily well,” Mr Provest said.
“People of all age groups have come out, there have been some very emotive speeches. I will be taking the petition to parliament in the third week of April.”
Rally organiser David Field said he hoped locals would take some advice away from the day.
“The main message we want to send firstly is to report the incidents,” Mr Field said.
“If you don’t report, the police won’t come.
“And we’re hoping for more funding from the government for increased police presence in the areas of Tweed Heads, Coolangatta, Kingscliff and Pottsville.”
Organiser Helen Rowston said she was moved by the speech from Paul Stanley, father of bashing victim Matthew Stanley who spoke of losing a child.
“It really hits home,” Mrs Rowston said.
“It’s upsetting to know that everyone here has been affected by youth violence at some stage.
“When we started we never thought it could turn into this. We all thought we couldn’t make a difference, but we also just couldn’t stand by and watch. It’s not acceptable.”
Other prominent issues of the day included cross-border policing, transport and raising social conscience.
“We want things to change for the better; we want more exposure for the issue and funding for youth initiatives,” Mrs Rowston said.