Big New Year?s Eve brewing at Evans
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
EVANS HEAD is bracing itself for an influx of young revellers unwanted in Byron Bay and Lennox Head this New Year's Eve.
The Richmond Valley Council, youth workers and accommodation operators have held a series of meetings over the past month to develop a strategy to cope with extra party-goers who would usually celebrate elsewhere.
Alcohol bans and toned down celebrations are planned for Lennox Head and Byron Bay to cater for families and deter drunken troublemakers.
However, there will be no organised entertainment for young people in Evans Head.
Richmond Valley Council corporate services director Wayne Halcrow said the town was not exactly 'welcoming' young revellers with nowhere else to go.
He said they were simply preparing for the possibility of larger crowds.
"We're planning for something that may or may not happen," he said.
"But if it does we're ensuring we'll be able to cope."
The council will close the surf club car park from 8pm on New Year's Eve, install more lighting and hire extra toilets.
Extra police will patrol the town and security guards have been employed.
Evans Head Beach Beat's youth workers, who patrol the beachfront area every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night over summer, will also be trying to ensure young people are as safe as possible.
Youth worker Debbie Martin said she hoped this New Year's Eve would be as trouble-free as the last.
She said the crowd was usually made up of young people, primarily from Casino, Lismore and Kyogle, who camp at the Silver Sands Caravan Park with their families. The park accommodates 3000 people.
"Most of them have been coming here for years and there aren't any problems," she said.
"Hopefully this year will be very quiet."