Maddison, 15, and Shanai Ingra, 16, being supervised by mother Trudy Lowe in Tannum Sands.
Maddison, 15, and Shanai Ingra, 16, being supervised by mother Trudy Lowe in Tannum Sands. Campbell Gellie

Tannum has curfew, but it's not welcomed by all

JUST like Cinderella, children at Tannum Sands and Boyne Island have to be home by midnight.

After an exclusive article in The Observer on Wednesday about a curfew for Miriam Vale children, Tannum Sands Police have revealed they have success with a similar strategy.

Tannum Sands Police Station officer in charge Senior Sergeant Tony Poli said local police spoke to the children, made sure they were safe and contacted parents if necessary.

"There have been examples where young teens were supposed to have been at a friend's house at a sleepover but found at 1am or 2am in the streets," he said.

"Parents have a right to know where their kids are.

"The majority of kids spoken to are honest and forthcoming as to what they are up to, and happy to tell the police who they are."

The Tannum strategy allows children on the street for four more hours than those in Miriam Vale.

Snr Sgt Poli said the response from the Tannum Sands and Boyne Island community was mostly positive.

"The majority of the time parents are concerned their children are not where they are supposed to be," he said.

"I can count two or three times in the past eight years where they didn't particularly care their kids were out."

Maddison Ingra, 15, lives in Tannum Sands with her family and she said she thought the practice wasn't necessary.

"I've been stopped before and questioned by police and they search you to see if you've got alcohol," she said.

"I felt like I was in trouble or I was breaking the law, but I wasn't doing anything wrong."

Maddison's mum Trudy Lowe said the rules were good for children who behaved badly, but unfair on the 'good kids'.

"The good kids have nothing to do here in Tannum, but just because they are out with friends doesn't mean they're mucking around," she said.

"They're at the age where they're building trust with their parents and should be allowed to use that trust."

Miriam Vale State School principal Craig Hazen said it was the community approach in his town that made the curfew work.

"We make sure the kids aren't bored and have activities almost every afternoon of the week," he said.

"The aim is to make sure they don't have idle time in the street."