Controlled start to new year
By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
NEW Year's Eve revellers were generally well behaved on Satur-day night, according to Gladstone police and taxi operators.
Gladstone police Sergeant Royce Devlin said police issued a few liquor notices and made a couple of arrests, but the night was "nothing out of the ordinary''.
He said people were mostly well behaved and attributed the change in attitude to a greater understanding of liquor laws.
"People are getting better edu- cated and especially at New Year's if they are going out they are more likely now to make ar-rangements to get home, whether that be by having a designated driver or organising other trans- portation,'' he said.
Sgt Devlin said people were also more aware of a greater police presence on the roads and were therefore less likely to take risks drink driving.
"Motorists know we're out in force, particularly during the period around Christmas and New Year, so it deters them from taking the risk (to drink drive),'' he said.
He said New Year's Eve parties and events were also well-con- trolled, with only one party in Grayson Street needing to be closed down by police before it got out of hand.
Blue and White Taxis chair Al- lan Rowe said the two 25-seater buses helped clear crowds quickly and with little fuss . "Everything went well, as ex- pected. When the night clubs closed at 5am, we were able to get everyone out about 5.30am, which was good,'' he said.
However, Mr Rowe said he was disappointed that a seat on one of the buses had been damaged dur-ing the night, meaning Blue and White Taxis, which hired the bus- es from another company, would have to pay for the repairs.
"We provide the buses as a ser-vice for the community rather than as a commercial enterprise, so it was disappointing to see that a seat was slashed,'' he said.
Overall, he deemed the night a success and said no complaints were registered at the office or through the taxi call centre in Townsville and no drivers had complained about behaviour of passengers on the night.