Some members of council youth advisory committee upset

The High School was locked down on Friday “to avoid a possible incident between students”.

The details were unclear but the Glen Innes High School spokesman at the Department of Education said: “The safety procedure was initiated to ensure students’ safety”.

It was the latest in a series of lockdowns as tensions between students have erupted, in some cases with the police involved.

The situation highlighted a question considered by the council’s new youth advisory committee.

As it held its first meeting, disagreements emerged over whether the centre would be for all youth or “troubled youth”.

In a TV report last week, Deputy Mayor Carol Sparks said that the old shire council building was needed as a youth centre because of social problems in the town: “Problems with kids committing suicide. We have domestic violence rates - we were third in the state.”

She added: “We wanted the kids to have links to mental health services.”

But some members of the advisory committee said that whether or not the centre was for “troubled youth” or all youth was yet to be decided, and it was for the advisory committee to advise on that. The council will make the final decision.

Deputy Mayor Carol Sparks and Dianne Newman, the two drivers of the youth centre.

Deputy Mayor Carol Sparks and Dianne Newman, the two drivers of the youth centre.

On Thursday, after her TV interview, Carol Sparks, said: “It’s for the committee to work out their role – that’s the idea of having the advisory committee. It’s for youth to forward their ideas – that’s all youth, not just troubled youth”.

The new chairman of the committee, Troy Arandale, said: “We have got a dedicated group of volunteers on the advisory committee.

“They are working through all of the issues presented to us and in the coming months we will present a well-thought-out and positive approach to youth services in Glen Innes”.