Push to clean-up Park Beach image
THE push is on to end the notoriety of Park Beach after dark and beat the struggle against alcohol-fuelled vandalism, graffiti and late night brawls.
Fed up residents, moteliers and landlords are backing calls for a public meeting to address the anti-social behaviour plaguing the beachside suburb.
In the latest attack, countless motels, residential buildings and fences were graffitied.
For one resident, it was the fifth time in six weeks his Ocean Parade property had been vandalised.
Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said the public meeting, which is in planning, will aim to bring together residents, police and council to address anti-social crime.
“I believe this needs a whole of community effort to improve lighting in the area, clear the undergrowth on the beach strip and see funding allocated for increased police patrols, not just in Park Beach, but across the whole local government area,” Mr Fraser said.
“The complaints through my office are endless – something has to be done.”
Property owner and developer Brett Carlyle said the criminal activity in Park Beach was impacting on Coffs Harbour's tourism industry and economy.
“No developer wants to spend money here to improve their investments because of the crime, graffiti and vandalism,” Mr Carlyle said.
“While I'm not happy with the police inability to crackdown on vandalism and anti-social behaviour in Park Beach, the problem stems from council's neglect of the area.
“Park Beach is the face of Coffs Harbour, it is the area that most tourists see, yet it is the area most in need of revitalisation.”
Irate accommodation providers say late-night revellers were driving motel guests away.
The beach strip is said to become so unruly after dark some moteliers have simply sold up.
One motelier, pushing for an end to all-night bingeing in alcohol-free zones, said the problem was so bad he did not get return visitors.
“I understand completely. I can't blame them. If I stayed in a motel and couldn't sleep because of drunks yelling and fighting across the road all night long, I wouldn't go back.”
In fear of reprisals several accommodation providers who met with the Coffs Coast Advocate yesterday did not wish to be named.
This week an email has been circulated to fed-up property and business owners in the area.
It details the extent of crime one holiday apartment owner has faced in just six months.
In that time he has had his premises and two vehicles broken into.
On a daily basis he's also had to clean up broken glass, syringes and litter from the footpath and continually paint over graffiti scrawled on his building.
He detailed how his guests were continually abused by drunks and said he had lost count at the number of police call-outs to the area for intoxicated people fighting and partying in the area.
“This is not the look I wish for my guests to see, as it not only looks bad on my behalf, but it also reflects negatively on the Coffs Harbour locality on a whole,” the apartment block owner said.