Campers and district police are unimpressed by the violent incidents and reports of anti-social behaviour and underage drinking at Greens Lake recently.RENEE THOMPSON January 8, 2014 4:37am
Camper Fred ‘Wombat’ Whelan, pictured with his dog Max, was unimpressed by the behaviour of other campers
Greens Lake is under the spotlight after a number of problems in recent weeks, including two violent incidents and reports of anti-social behaviour and underage drinking.
On New Year’s Eve a Kyabram teenager, 16, allegedly injured a Rochester youth, 17, with a glass bottle at the lake.
The Kyabram youth has been charged with intentionally causing serious injury and is expected to face court at a later date.
The previous Saturday, December 28, saw a 24-year-old Tongala man charged with assaulting a police officer and driving while unlicenced at the lake.
In addition, police have expressed concern the lake has been attracting a growing number of young people who go there to drink alcohol.
Leading Senior Constable Bob Naismith of Stanhope police said the most disturbing issue was the number of young people who were left unsupervised over New Year.
‘‘I am fairly critical of a lot of parents dropping their kids off at the lake. There were too many under-age revellers,’’ he said.
‘‘We need to make headway into reducing it, or find an alternative as to what’s going to happen on New Year’s Eve in future.’’
He said the first step was to find solutions or potentially close the lake down to all campers next New Year’s Eve.
‘‘We’ve got 12 months to discuss the future of New Year’s Eve at Greens Lake,’’ he said.
Leading Sen. Constable Naismith estimated up to 400 young people aged between about 16- 24 had camped at the lake over New Year’s.
‘‘Prior to New Year’s, we had grey nomads camping there and only minor issues with boating, nothing dramatic,’’ he said.
‘‘Campers were good, no problems with fires, even the motorcycle/quad bike issue was down to zero.’’
‘‘Proactive policing at the lake in the two weeks before Christmas revealed no problems.
‘‘All of a sudden, New Year’s Eve hits — it’s like schoolies.’’
He said while most people were well behaved, police needed to address the issue of the few who were not.
‘‘You’re always going to get some idiots who mess it up for everyone else,’’ he said.
‘‘At about 7.30pm on New Year’s Eve I spoke to a couple of kids who indicated to me they were there to party, party, party.
‘‘We have had police out there to see what was happening and nip it in the bud.’’
Euroa resident Fred ‘Wombat’ Whelan has been visiting the lake and agreed anti-social behaviour and underage drinking is a problem.
‘‘We shouldn’t have 15 and 16 year-olds getting drunk. Local police like Stanhope and Rochy have done a great job as well as Kyabram and Rushworth.’’
Greens Lake is privately owned and managed by Goulburn-Murray Water.
Leading Sen. Constable Naismith said police had G-MW’s full co-operation to discuss possible solutions.
‘‘It has to be safe for everybody.
‘‘Everyone has to be able to enjoy the facilities out there.’’
He said it would be unfortunate if the actions of a few ruined it for everyone else and that, on the whole, this year was better than last.
‘‘The behaviour of people was much better than last year. There were serious assaults there last year, as well as an illegal bar,’’ Leading Sen. Constable Naismith said.
‘‘This year was by far better. People felt safer and there was a visible police presence.
‘‘I was pleased with everything except for New Year’s Eve.’’
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