Toowoomba mayor braves violence and drunks in CBD
TOOWOOMBA Mayor Paul Antonio has braved drunken and violent party-goers during a tour of the CBD as part of a fact-finding mission.
Cr Antonio on Saturday was joined by his colleague Cr Geoff McDonald, Geoff's wife Lisa McDonald and former Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Andrew Wielandt on the tour.
The tour was led by volunteer Christian group METRO Care and Cr Antonio said it was an opportunity to see Toowoomba Police, City Safe Cameras and groups like METRO Care work collaboratively.
"We saw many things; we saw people removed from the street.
"We saw the police doing an amazing job in settling down difficult moments.
"We saw the wonderful work that police do."
Cr Antonio said he now better understood the network of support that assisted people in the Toowoomba CBD.
"Particularly police and the City Safe cameras and the observations they make that are reported to everyone. They are aware if there are any issues."
Cr Antonio said Toowoomba would be a poorer place if not for good work of police, the network of surveillance cameras, and "good people" volunteering their time to help others.
He said METRO Care was comprised of "wonderfully organised volunteers".
While he wasn't shocked by what he saw, he said there were a number of people who "reached a stage where they needed support."
He saw the aftermath of disputes, where people were being removed from licensed premises.
"The three groups I was interacting with worked together to make sure that violence is recognised and limited."
Cr Antonio said all parties needed to continue to work together.
"This is the Safe Night Precinct that they operate in. I think what's happening is good.
"There is protection for those who need protection.
"It's another indication this community cares about its own.
"The work of the police, City Safe cameras and groups like METRO makes the streets of Toowoomba a better place."