General News

3 February, 2023

“Just give us one full night of sleep”

AFTER being kept up all hours of the night for weeks on end due to parties in the park across the street, one concerned Mareeba resident is just asking for a decent night’s sleep so she can properly care for her elderly mother and have her grandchildren feel safe when visiting

By Rhys Thomas

“Just give us one full night of sleep” - feature photo

For the past 18 months, the resident claims disturbances including loud music, arguing and fighting have increased in Mareeba’s Rotary Park as parties raging all through the day and into the night.

The park is on the northern side of town just before the Granite Bridge and is often used by travellers with campers, tourists and even serves as a stop for events such as the Cardiac Challenge.

“It was really good, they would party during the day and keep the noise down at night but then all of a sudden, more turned up and they would go all night,” the resident said.

“They started bringing their own speakers and we had a whole weekend of country and western which was very unusual.

“You can cope with the music but then they start arguing and the more they drink the louder they get, the louder they get the more they start arguing and then it goes on all night.”

The resident claims once the police are called and attend the scene, they dispose of any alcohol they can see and leave, at which point the partygo-ers “go to where they’ve got it stashed” refill and continue.

“You ring the Policelink number and because it isn’t an emergency the police will get there as soon as they can – they turn up, empty out the alcohol and they leave,” she said.

“They go to where they’ve got it stashed and get some more – they never have it all at the tables.”

At one point the resident claims she helped di-rect an officer to two stashed casks of wine in the medium strip of the main road however Mareeba Police could not confirm if this incident occurred.

On several other occasions, the resident report-ed visitors who were travelling through town with caravans and four-wheel drives have stopped at the park only to be abused and chased off.

Not only does the resident care for her elderly mother and administer crucial medicine, she is also a grandmother whose grandkids do not feel safe spending the night at her home due to the party just a few metres over the road.

“We have my granddaughter a few days during the week and she just wanted to stay a night so we’ve let her stay, she has gone home exhausted because she hasn’t slept,” she said.

“Now she doesn’t want to stay the night because she is spooked by the noise.

“A four-year-old shouldn’t be like that, she should be able to come to grandma’s place and feel safe but she can’t, which is wrong.

“Just give us one full night of sleep, I’ve got a son who is a boss on a banana farm who stays with us and he goes over to his mates place a couple nights a week just to get some uninterrupted sleep.

“It is just getting worse.”

Mareeba Police have confirmed there has been an increase in calls to address disturbances at the park since December last year which is due to an influx of people from other communities – they have recorded 76 calls pertaining to disturbances at the park since 1 July last year.

Rotary Park has been identified as a direction patrol location for police to check during their shifts as well as other areas of Mareeba’s CBD where they address any anti-social behaviour and liquor/good order related offences.

Mareeba Police Station officer in charge Acting Senior Sergeant Shane Mattes said while the park was a public space, police were able to issue move on directions to people from certain places as long as certain criteria is met.

“Police are currently engaging with the appro-priate support services to assist in addressing pub-lic space issues,” he said.

“Police are able to issue ‘move on directions’ to people from certain places as long as certain cri-teria is met.

“Anyone who fails to comply with a move on direction is committing an offence and will be charged with failing to comply with a requirement or direction.”

While Mareeba Shire Council is aware of the noise and disturbance complaints surrounding Ro-tary Park, they are unable to do anything to rectify the issue as the park is a public space and open to everyone.

“Council will continue to maintain Rotary Park and other parks across the shire,” Mayor Angela Toppin said.

“Parks enhance our shire’s visual appeal and livability and open spaces encourages active communities and economic development.”

Council is encouraging residents to report noise and disturbance complaints to the Mareeba Police


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