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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : May 27th 2009
www.innerwestweekly.com.au THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009 PHONE 9018 3592 80c incl. GST James Younan is disgusted that Strathfield Park's play area is a haunt for drug-users. Pictures: PHIL BLATCH SHIREEN KHALIL Park gone to pot Most things are already banned in the park. BROKEN beer bottles, empty bongs and the putrid smell of marijuana is what residents living opposite Strathfield Park put up with every weekend. By day the beautiful playground in the park is home to children, but on Friday and Saturday nights it's a party venue for groups of teenagers who congregate from 10pm, smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, according to residents. Ever since James Younan, 20, and his family moved into their Strathfield home two years ago they've had to deal with the smell of marijuana every weekend. ''They carry on until the early hours of the morning and the smell of the pot is so strong that we are just fed up with it -- it stinks out our entire house,'' he said. But his main concern is the safety of the children. ''We are constantly picking up their broken beer bottles and bongs which are left scattered all over the play area and there are always kids at the playground on weekends and they are in danger, especially if they tread on the glass,'' he said. Resident of 25 years Monique Gentile said the issue, which had recently escalated, could be fixed if the police monitored the area. ''All they need to do is cruise in the police cars . . . just to make sure the area is safe,'' she said. Flemington police crime man- ager Insp Karl Leis said they had not been made aware of any ongoing complaints regarding the matter. ''If members of the community have any information to pass on, we will certainly assess the issue,'' Insp Leis said. He said they would consider patrolling the area if necessary. However, Mr Younan said his family had contacted the police twice and they only showed up once. ''We waited outside for them and they took about 40 minutes, and by the time they showed up, the group had left and, on the other occasion, the police didn't even come,'' he said. To Page 2 Tackle issue at grassroots MARIJUANA use is typical among 18 and 19 year olds and needs to be tackled early, Burwood GP and Generation Next youth program founder Ramesh Manocha believes. ''This is why Generation Next is set up -- to help parents tackle these issues as they are raising their children so we have less kids feeling like this is a desirable way to spend their Friday and Saturday nights,'' Dr Manocha said. The 2007 national drug strategy household survey found cannabis was the most common drug used by 15 to 24-year-olds. Dr Manocha said there was also scientific evidence alcohol and marijuana consumption were associated with mental health problems later in life. ''We need to offer them (young people) alternatives and teach them, at a young age, the risks associated with consuming these substances,'' he said. Dr Manocha said the council, parents, schools and the government each played a vital role in minimising this issue. ''We have to take a united approach,'' he said. For details on the seminar visit www.gennextseminars.com
May 20th 2009
June 3rd 2009