5 May: They’re a breeding ground for wild behaviour, sexual assaults, violence and underage drinking – and they’re as tough to control as your average 16-year-old.
In the events known as “bush doofs”, hundreds of drunken teens descend on a vacant property for a night of thumping music, dancing and wild partying. Riot police were called in to shut down the most recent illegal parties. Highly organised, experienced party planners go to great lengths to keep the events under wraps. Details of the parties are posted on Facebook for only 15 minutes to prevent authorities tracking down the location. The invite list is compiled by word of mouth. A $15 fee covers entry and other set-up costs.
The most recent bush doof at Kellyville was shut down by the riot squad a week ago on Saturday night when hundreds of drunken teenagers were caught trespassing on a property owned by Sami Fahd. The week before, out-of-control partiers stormed through Wentworthville, overturning cars and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. Three people were arrested.
Organisers refer to the events as “round” parties, an apparent taunt to authority to imply they are recurring, much like a boxing match. The bush doof at Kellyville was “round 7”.
Inspector Helen Dean of The Hills local area command in northwest Sydney, where the bulk of the parties are held, said: “Anything on Facebook for us is a nightmare because it is so far reaching.
“We are always worried something like this could get out of control, innocent people could get hurt and properties could be damaged. I appreciate they are kids who want to hang out and have a good time but we know what can go wrong.”
Police received a tip-off about the Kellyville party on the morning it was due to take place, prompting them to turn to Facebook to obtain intelligence as the address was due to be uploaded at 3pm.
“We logged on to Facebook, made a few inquiries which led us to two Facebook pages which allowed us to monitor their updates in relation to the location,” Insp Dean said.
By 3.15pm the officers were standing at the location. The bush doof on Glenhaven Rd, Kellyville, was shut down before it got started last Saturday. Insp Dean said they remain on alert for “round 8”.
“What appalled me was parents dropping their children off. They were turning up with a car load of 16-year-olds and I would say to mum or dad, ‘do you know whose party this is?’ and they said ‘no’. I don’t know what goes through their heads.”
Police believe one of the organisers of the Wentworthville party was also behind the failed Kellyville event.
“We have seen photos of him at both,” said Acting Commander at The Hills district, Superintendent Gary Bailey. “In terms of charges, we are looking at least at trespassing on a house they didn’t have permission to use. They are underage.”
In Kellyville last week, the owner of the property could only stand by helplessly and watch as car loads of teenagers turned up to his newly built home which he is now considering selling.
“We had no idea. No idea,” said the father of four who did not wish to be named. “I picture what could have happened to our home, which we have almost finished building.
“The thought of thousands of young guys having that address and a description of the property is scary.
“I am a tough man but my wife can’t imagine herself going to that property now.
“My son and I arrived at the property at 7.35pm and there were police and riot squads in large numbers,” he said.
The distressed owner said police have since established that two 17-year-old boys working as apprentice plumbers on the rural property had organised the party.
However, policing the new trend is difficult as addresses are spread on social media.
On April 27 at 10.50am, Nathan Duval posted “Round 7. Hecktik keen”. He then announced the address and told his hundreds of Facebook friends that the entry fee was $5 if they arrived before 8.
Kamran Mohammed Safavi, who attended “round 7”, is claiming to be organising “round 8”.
“Host of Round 8 – with Joseph Makhlouf.”