ACT News


The clean-up: 15 cubic metres of rubbish and a few stragglers

Intoxicated teens wandering the streets were the main source of trouble for Canberra police on New Year's Eve, which drew one of the largest crowds on record.

While the majority of the estimated 45,000 revellers in the city kept out of trouble, celebrations in Civic Square and Garema Place resulted in more than a dozen under-age drinkers being taken into protective custody.

ACT police spokesman Peter Brewer said officers were kept busy as patrols dealt with teenagers as young as 14 under the influence of alcohol and out on the streets early on New Year's Day.

"No clubs or pubs would admit them, so they obviously end up on the street," he said.

"We have a youth reception centre set up at our city station and we got at least half a dozen into custody even before 9pm and 15 over the whole evening. That 15 also wouldn't reflect the overall number we encountered."

Superintendent Brett Kidner said five intoxicated adults were also taken into custody, as well as five other adults who could face charges over assaults and resisting arrest.


"By and by, I think it was pretty good," he said. "I was happy with the amount of planning people put into their evening." The crowds in Canberra were larger than in 2011, according to Events ACT marketing and communications manager Adelina La Vita.

"There was certainly a party atmosphere and everyone seemed happy to be enjoying the free entertainment on show," she said.

"It's been extremely rewarding watching people enjoy themselves and bring in the new year in the heart of Canberra."

The celebrations also meant Territory and Municipal Services staff had an early start on Tuesday, clearing away about 15 cubic metres of rubbish.

Ten staff worked on the clean-up, emptying 80 bins across the city as well as picking up loose rubbish and clearing gutters.

In contrast to Canberra's relatively calm evening, celebrations across the rest of the country were marred by violence that left two people dead. A man was shot dead in South Australia and another died after a car park brawl in the West Australian town of Shark Bay. Hundreds of arrests were made across the country, including 62 in Brisbane and 97 in Sydney for offences including assault and affray.

There were seven stabbings in Brisbane and more than 30 drug overdoses across Victoria, including a 15-year-old boy.

In Tasmania, a man has been charged in connection with an alleged rape close to the centre of Hobart's New Year's Eve celebrations.

Police have interviewed and charged a 35-year-old man after a complaint from a 26-year-old woman about the alleged incident near Tasmania's Parliament House.