Numbers down but crowd behaved

THE number of New Years Eve revellers in Airlie Beach was believed to be down by about half this year, according to Whitsunday police.

Officer in charge Sergeant Steve O'Connell said he believed crowds were reduced to about 2500 people instead of the 5000 plus that usually come to town to party.

There were nine arrests in Airlie Beach, all for public nuisance offences, and Sgt O'Connell said this figure too, had halved compared to last year.

“Everyone seemed to be in a fairly happy mood and quite subdued actually,” he said.

“We didn't have any major issues whatsoever. “On a whole everyone was pretty well behaved.”

Whitsunday police breath tested more than 420 drivers on New Year's Eve and only one was caught with a low range drink driving result.

Local businesses reported mixed results over the new year weekend.

The Airlie Beach Hotel had 170 room cancellations over the new year period, mainly because of the rain.

General manager Mark Bell said some people couldn't travel to the Whitsundays because the roads were flooded and others were reluctant to come in case they couldn't get home.

“That's a very substantial loss,” he said.

“There's nothing we can do about it.”

Meanwhile, Magnums Hotel general manager David Furlong said that while he noticed a general lack of numbers in the streets, Magnums didn't feel the affects with their New Year events deemed a success.

“We matched last year,” he said.

“I was expecting a lot more people in the streets but it was a major success for us.”


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