No need to worry says PCYC chief

THE PCYC is acutely aware of nearby residents, a meeting heard.

A proposed multi-million dollar expansion of Port Macquarie Indoor Sports Stadium features a PCYC and two new courts, which are both tied to funding.

Hibbard residents are worried given the proximity of the stadium to houses.

PCYC chief executive officer Chris Gardiner said a number of their clubs were surrounded by residences as not all PCYCs were in sports precincts or town centres.

“The kids you are concerned about are small in number and under the control and direction of police officers,” Mr Gardiner told residents.

But Hibbard resident and ratepayer Terry Minahan said it was very doubtful the police could be effective after hours.

He said residents heard what the police would do inside the stadium but had yet to hear any strategies or plans to mitigate the problems with the design and/or any concerns about anti-social behaviour associated with a PCYC.

Acting Senior Sergeant Mark Williams explained the police powers as they applied to PCYCs and more broadly including the ability to move people on.

PCYCs offer a range of sports and a youth leadership program to its members.

There are a handful of the youth at each club involved in case management programs under the control of police officers.

Young offenders and youth at risk must voluntarily agree to take part in the program.

Acting Snr Sgt Williams said those kids were not evil inside but had been dealt a bad hand in life.

He said the police officers worked with those kids, gave them boundaries and the consequences of breaking the rules.

Representatives from the PCYC, indoor stadium management and Port Macquarie Gymnastics Club addressed an independently-run forum on Wednesday night.

The information sharing exercise aimed for the community to better understand the tenants’ operating models.

No decisions were made on the night.

Another recent community forum dealt with design aspects of the proposed stadium extension.

Fresh design plans will go on exhibition after which the expansion proposal is expected to go before Port Macquarie-Hastings Council in March.

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