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Boredom in Paradise

It’s hard for young people to have fun. Friday night comes along and myself and all my friends want to go out to have a good time, just all being together and celebrating our youth.  But not on the Sunshine Coast.

I’m 17 living in the beautiful tourist destination of Noosa!  The name lives up to its reputation, it is not cheap, anything to do in Noosa on the weekend is expensive.  Go to The J, where all events cost to get into, the movies, which take a good chunk out of our part-time pay.  Most kids on or around Noosa find it hard enough just to get a job.   Oh and let’s not forget the unreliable bus system.

So now us teen aged youth from 15 to 17 must resort to trying to entertain ourselves at places like the river, which most parents don’t think is suitable for their kids to be hanging out at, at such late times. The areas on the river which we most hang at are not lit, and the streets are patrolled by police thinking that we are up to no good, which because there is nothing to do, we sometimes are, this makes an uneventful night.

The second destination of choice is the beach, which not even 30% of kids live close to, causing the other 70% to over pack their cars and some even drink drive due to the consequence of no suitable cheap places for teens to hang.  If the police have reports of youths loitering on the beach, within a heartbeat they are there, thinking that they are doing the wrong thing.  Although most of us aren’t even drinking, just hanging around a fire having a laugh.

I hear of the times in my parent’s youth when the beach was a free place to party around a bonfire and the local surf clubs used to hold all age dances which were enjoyed by all.  I think it is unfair for us teens to live in such a beautiful place and not being able to take advantage of the beaches and river and the lack of free underage events on most weekends.

Emily, Age 17
Weyba Downs

Noosa is an amazing place to live in, but not so amazing to grow up in. There is nothing to do! And going to the beach every single day in the holidays gets a bit tiresome. Unlike my other friends and peers, my friends and I don’t like to “party” or go out ALL the time which is good for us being in Noosa, and at least had a positive effect on my studies. For someone like me it feels like all I can do in Noosa is study, stay at home or go to the beach (on a sunny day). We can’t just casually go shopping at decent places because that’s a one hour trip on a bus that hardly runs. We can’t just go walking and window shopping in the junction because there are no shops anymore or in Hastings Street because it is way too expensive (or you get kicked out of a store that sells beach wear, that is 10 metres from the sand, for not wearing shoes as of just coming back from the beach!).

I also have a boyfriend, whom luckily enough am trusted to be with at his house because there is honestly nothing else we can do, or any place we can go without spending a LOT of money!

One thing that isn’t an obvious issue for many teenagers I know is not just activities and entertainment in Noosa but medical facilities.  For the past 5 years I’ve had to make trips to Nambour, relying on my dad to take time away from work, so that I can get my check-ups at the hospital. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t, as it was at one point, an almost fortnightly occurrence.

Noosa will always be my home and I will always come back here but at the moment, as a 17 year old finishing high school, Noosa seems like this black hole that is full of people wanting to escape, with no real opportunities, but don’t worry because there is a great view.

Caitlin, Age 17
Sunrise Beach

As it has been School Holidays and Em has been working with us a lot, we thought it would be interesting to have a teenagers perspective on the Coast.  No real criteria was given for an editorial, basically, your call girls, if you could do an editorial what would it be about?  Caitlin is our daughter, who has also been working for us and basically had the same mission handed to her.  The above is what we got from them both.  Without talking to each other about it, and being totally different types of kids, one is more science and sociable, the other is more music and quieter, we got a pretty similar scenario from them…

Now, I would have to say, thinking back on my teen years, growing up in BrisVegas, we did actually have quite a few things we could do, even with some things costing, it was a lot easier to get a part-time job, just about every kid had one, so you could afford to pay for the odd band in Albert Park, or to go to ‘town’ to the movies.  

I remember when Council first proposed building the J, there was even a competition for naming the new youth facility.  Obviously it is not considered economically viable to have too many free youth events now that it is actually built, and I am sure the dreaded public liability which is a scourge on our society makes doing anything for kids there even more expensive, but maybe we should be looking at this issue more seriously.

Kids seem to be the only ones here on the Coast that don’t really have a voice about the future direction of the Coast.   Having a child grow up here myself the old Noosa Council did a lot of free youth events that surrounded the bigger sponsored ones, they were welcome at the Library, Gallery, and Noosa Community Radio (they still are to a certain degree), but with a Mega Council now, concerned about ‘Big Ticket’ items, (just like the neglect of small businesses here on the Coast), the kids are also being left at the kerb.  Maybe in all the planning with the expensive consultants, they should take a ‘time-out’ and have a chat to a few kids as well?

The MSC Editors Desk

Please have your say below in the comments.  As a teenager what do you think your biggest hassle is in your particular location?  As an adult, what do you think the biggest issues are for kids growing up her on the Coast, particularly teenagers?

Permanent Link: Boredom in Paradise
Publish Date: 04 Oct 11

My Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
PO Box 38, Cotton Tree Qld 4558, Sunshine Coast Wide
Phone: 07 5455 4832
Fax: 07 5455 4831

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Comments / Have your say

  1. Talking to quite a few kids finishing school this year in only a few short weeks and too many are leaving the coast or trying to due to lack of work and only the one university at the far southern end of the coast which mean when you factor in travel costs from the likes of Noosa which may be more than once a day due to lecture scheduling it is easier and better to go to Brisbane or elsewhere even for tertiary education. Too many kids born and bred on the coast are not staying here, many not coming back in later years either. This does not make for a well-balanced community.
    Marion of Maroochydore
    11 of 1118th October 2011, 5.24am
  2. I agree with most of the girls comments but it seems that the subject here is not the Sunshine Coast but Noosa only. It is true that Noosa is a trap for wealthy people and too many backpackers (which i still don't understand how they survive considering the high prices) and everything in Noosa is targeting that clientele. Its residents are not the priority of council (in my opinion) and youth will never be heard until that situation changes. Noosa has sadly become an unsafe place to raise children but so are all the towns on the Sunny Coast. It seems that the mentality has changed, you can't go out anymore without spending lots of money; having drugs or alcohool and still fit within the crowd. I am scared for my kids; they grow up with a society that i am having a hard time of catching up to. What has become to the simple things in life? I am just happy that they are still young and enjoy playing in the backyard, at the beach or go camping. I do not want to have to lock the doors when they become teenagers but at the same time, how can i know that there isn't a rapist, a bad drug dealer, a psycho mate that is gonna ruine their lives forever by what can be a simple accident in everyone else's eyes. Call me over protective but there are too many idiots out there and i fear for my kids future. Not so many years ago, there were only good drug dealers, rapists were unheard of and if you had a mate a bit weird, you'd just let him know and put a stop to it without being judged. Anyhow, bla bla bla
    From a concerned Sunshine Coast resident.

    NB: i agree that Peregian Originals is THE most peaceful free outdoor gathering with good crowds, great for the whole family. The community and commerces would suffer if council keeps taking the side of arrogant and annoying residents.
    10 of 1111th October 2011, 3.34pm
  3. I think buses or lack of them outside work and school hours are the biggest problem. I understand the girls issue with everything costing but at least if they could easily move around they could visit friend, beach etc.
    Sue of Maroochydore
    9 of 117th October 2011, 5.57pm
  4. Dear Editor,

    It would be good to see these young people speaking correct English, but if they are not taught to do so in school or at home then there is not much chance. It is much easier & correct to say, "all my friends and I" than "myself and all my friends." Sounds like the "ME" generation rules.

    Retired teacher,
    Jane of Sunshine Coast
    8 of 115th October 2011, 2.31pm
  5. I moved to Noosa 10 years ago with my two young daughters (12, 9) to give them the childhood that I had. Both girls started sports, which I found easy to find on the coast but in their teens they lost interest.

    with the lack of entertainment for the youth my eldest, out of boredom, ventured into drugs. My youngest, an academic, studies to all hours of the night and wants to have fun on her time off but has nothing to go out too. Living in Doonan they couldn’t get to town easy, and their only means of transport was to have older friends with licences, I didn’t like that much. I have petitioned for a bus service to come to our area (which I pay council levy for) but denied each time. The girls didn’t find any means of entertainment until they both gained their licences and could drive to venues off the coast.
    In my day, the local church held a dance nigh, which local bands preformed for free, which was a good opportunity for my friends and I to go out in a nice safe environment. I would be glad to give my services to hold one in Noosa, but no one has the time or money!

    The only fee event we enjoy is Peregian Originals, which is a great day out. I am always more than happy to donate to this great event but unfortunately the entertainment may be coming to an untimely end for all the noise complaints from the local residents.

    Are we now looking at Noosa being a retirement community? We should give a louder voice to the youth of this great community.
    Sue of Noosa
    7 of 114th October 2011, 8.43pm
  6. I believe the SSC is dying a fast death and I believe the restrictive laws, bylaws, regulations etc etc and as another person commented, the implementation of the "nanny state" is destroying our lifestyle. Look around at the empty shops, "for lease" signs on offices and factories and failed businesses. One of my relatives is an extremely talented musician and until recently gained his employment plying his trade in establishments on the SSC. With the lack of tourists visiting the area and the draconian measures placed on restaurants and pubs regarding live music noise regulations he has moved to the mines to make a living leaving his wife and children on a fly in fly out basis. Given 3- 5 years the SSC will be Gods waiting room full of retirees having the majority of its born and bred children moving on to major cities for employment opportunities.
    Jim of Coolum
    6 of 114th October 2011, 6.35pm
  7. Teenagers and Adults alike have so many restrictions on us that we virtually need council & state permission to breathe. We have become a nanny state.
    Permission should be given to have beach parties on the main beach areas, and bon fires for weekends and holidays on the Sunshine coast.
    If people are so concerned, let a beach patrol keep and eye on certain main beaches till 11pm
    Let us breathe life into the coast again.
    Lets revive the coast, with more freedom.
    Narrissa of Mooloolaba
    5 of 114th October 2011, 2.12pm
  8. Ah come on Marlene, things were different back then and country is different to the coast. Virtually everything you mention is an interest from an adults perspective, not a young persons view, and would only appeal to a small number anyway.

    These kids are correct in their view, without the knowledge of "why", the many reasons are reflected in the article and Ella's comment. even as a "mid-life" adult, I find there are few places to go and do things, and I am reasonably inventive.

    Times change, the restrictions, limitations and by-laws are concerned with the small number of trouble-makers, but adversely effect the majority of good, fun-loving, lively kids, just looking to enjoy themselves. Having said this, I think the girls points would have been better made if both had included their own thoughts on quite what they do want to be able to do in their free-time in a more positive manner.
    Russ of Sunshine Coast
    4 of 114th October 2011, 11.42am
  9. My kids are coming up to an age where they can be independent - but I can see there is not too much for them to do locally. Already we have their gravitating to our kitchen table with their laptops because we have incredible internet coverage and that's cool - but apart from the trampoline and DVD's - there's not alot to do for teens.
    I've been fortunate to build a business where I can work around the kids - we have a troopie that regularly fills with kids being transported places -
    I'd love to see the amphitheatre in Eumundi be accessed more - there is a limited bus service - but it's a brilliant venue - parents can wander over to Eumundi Square and get great coffee and lose themselves in Berkelouw Books. Win Win for everyone :)
    Marina of Cooroy
    3 of 114th October 2011, 11.27am
  10. Dear Editor,

    I have just finished reading your very interesting newsletter. Thank you.

    However, I became very annoyed to read that young people are saying there is nothing to do. In life, one has to work hard and put effort into making their life full of interest, fun and joy. It doesn’t turn up on the doorstop every 24 hours.

    Having grown up in a small country town in NSW (no TV or Internet, car or telephone), we had a full life and a bicycle!

    Saying there is nothing to do, is a cop out and expectation that someone else should make fun for people.

    There are so many organisations in our community. Immediately, I think of opportunities to gain swimming and tennis coaching and instruction certificates, Indee Theatre and Noosa Arts Theatre productions. There are bushwalking clubs (Noosa has a good one), camera clubs, choirs, family history research clubs, go bike riding, sporting clubs, take a train or bus to Brisbane and attend a play, concert etc . There is voluntary work. I am now a retiree and even while I worked full time, I was forever finding new interests and hobbies and 24 hours in a day was not enough time.

    Go regularly to the movies and invite your friends home for supper afterwards. Noosa and Nambour show excellent films. Take a bus to Nambour.

    I recommend that these ‘bored’ young people think again about the opportunities there are outside of their homes for taking the boredom out of their lives. There is always the opportunity to meet new friends and contacts.

    Marlene of Sunshine Coast
    2 of 114th October 2011, 11.20am
    1. karen white replied to Marlene
      4th October 2011, 12.32pm
      Lovely comments Marlene. The youth today have been hypnotised into thinking that society owes them entertainment. Perhaps its a by product of too much TV and not enough creativity during their youth? Maybe an artistic outlet or one of the many organisations you named should be acknowledged at this stage. These organisations do not usually operate with paid personnel. If the youth don't like it - shut up or get involved and start making a difference. During holidays, the arts councils and libraries often have extensive holiday programs specifically aimed at kids. I would like to add that some adolscents have a very clear vision of future occupations and work toward achieving those goals. I am a music teacher and several of my students have used the holidays as an opportunity to really improve their standards. It comes down to the child - and their perception of their world.
    2. Caitlin replied to Marlene
      5th October 2011, 5.36am
      I would just like to point out that I play about 5 instruments, write, compose, read, draw, go to the gym and do a LOT of school work and the list goes on. Now that school is ending and mine and Emily's time isn't completely sucked up by school it's hard for us to do anything that doesn't make us feel anti social, our friends don't really have the exact same hobbies as us and that is common. we are just trying to find a balance in the place that we live and it's difficult unless you have the money to spend on joining several clubs or tafe courses like you suggested (finishing OP yr 12 in QLD doesn't allow for much free studying time). I'm sorry that what we said annoyed the both of you but it is our truth from our perspective of life in noosa.
  11. Well we have a council with so many stupid laws & regulations that its near impossible to create something for the youth. If its not the insurance companies, its the State Government or local Council. I wanted to build a big family thing here in Noosaville. The garbbage that they wanted me to do was not just stupid but utterly ridiculous. So we are left with retirees coming here and the youth leaving us. Retirees don't spend much as they are on fixed incomes. So the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Sydney take our kids. Remember when life was uncomplicated. That was when Governments kept out of our lives. hey take PC to the extreme and everyone is worried about being sued. Now we have stupid noise restrictions and venues are closong down becasue there is NO entertainment allowed. All becasue one person may complain. Minorites rule this great country now. I feel sorry for the kids. Indeed I feel sorry for all of us.
    Ella of Tewantin
    1 of 114th October 2011, 10.09am
    1. denise replied to Ella
      4th October 2011, 1.01pm
      I agree with the kids. I have lived here for 15 years coming from a stimulating town with galleries, museums and clubs. If one does not like the beach there is little to do. Trips to Brisbane end up costing over $100 due to petrol and tickets. My 15 year old daughter who is a writer and a musican, and spends alot of time at both, also thinks it is quite boring here. Fortunately she isn't into partying or boys as yet and her and her friends just hang out at home. Not sure what the answer is, would like to move but not sure to where.
  12. You can't post on an expired article.

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Above: The only photo we could find of them together, sorry girls, know you like to look better. Thanks to Courtney De Cent for the photo.

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