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Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Page: 4267

Mr GRAY (Parliamentary Secretary for Western and Northern Australia) (9:33 AM) —Rockingham is a great place to live, with a wonderful sense of community. It is a place I am proud to represent in the federal parliament. It is home to Defence Force families, brought to Rockingham by Garden Island; it is home to aged people, first home buyers and families. In the past 10 years, Rockingham has grown significantly. Approximately 100,000 people now call Rockingham home, up from 71,927 in 2000. More facilities, apartment living, commercial opportunities and the revitalisation of Rockingham foreshore have attracted new residents.

However, Rockingham is often typecast by the media as a ‘bogan’ suburb. I think the stigma is unreasonable, unfair and wrong. Rockingham is a great place to live and to bring up kids. It has award-winning beaches, award-winning foreshores. However, the foreshore is a different place on a Friday or Saturday night. Three nightclubs are open on the Rockingham beachfront until 6 am. There is ongoing community concern about antisocial behaviour outside the clubs. The issue is not a new one, nor is it unique to Rockingham.

The concern was raised by a community newspaper in 2001 and the problem has not gone away. I will read an extract from an article in the Weekend Courier dated 22 June 2001. The article told of:

Yelling, swearing, smashing of glass … and young people generally making a mess and being a nuisance.

The situation has not changed. On 19 February this year the Weekend Courier newspaper ran a story entitled ‘Club delay outrage’. It states that 19 out of 21 assaults attended by police in the Waterfront village were alcohol related. I speak today to acknowledge the community unease. I speak in support of my community. I support an inquiry into the closing times of these nightclubs, including restricting nightclub opening hours and banning high-energy alcohol mixes like Red Bull, often consumed with vodka. I note that in the City of Perth changes have been made in North Perth in relation to the consumption of these drinks. I thank my constituents for bringing their unease to my attention and I am hopeful that a remedy can be found as soon as possible.