Thousands of Australians travelling to take part in Schoolies celebrations have been warned to “look out for their mates”, as Victorian holiday owners ban bookings in prime party locations for fear of damage.
Roughly 20,000 young people are anticipated to descend onto the Gold Coast alone for the annual celebrations that mark the end of year 12.
130 police officers will be deployed around the Surfers Paradise precinct in the Gold Coast as part of a Safer Schoolies Response to ensure that party celebrations will be safe.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said a range of services will be available to support young teenagers celebrating through a week of partying and encouraged teenagers to reach out to crews.
“The police are here to keep everyone safe,” she said.
“I would encourage young people to strike up conversations with the crews at Schoolies this week.”
She explained that as well as emergency medical services, there would be access to mental health support throughout the sites.
Although the Police advised against taking drugs, they’ve told partygoers not to be afraid of repercussions and seek assistance if needing medical attention.
Despite over 40 per cent of school leavers already over the age of 18, Police will also be monitoring IDs at nearby liquor stores to ensure no underage drinking.
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan reminded Aussie teenagers to “stick together” and be aware of their surroundings including high rise balconies and avoid swimming in water while intoxicated.
“I urge all young people to look out for their mates, stick together, and check in on one another. Take note of your surroundings and take care while on high-rise balconies,” he said.
“And remember – no one likes a ‘Toolie’. Leave this week to the young people who have worked hard and deserve to celebrate their accomplishments responsibly.”
Across both Queensland, Byron Bay and Victoria many holiday owners are concerned for their properties and enforcing $2500 up front bonds in case of damages.
In Victoria some homeowners are taking it a step further and banning teenages from their properties along the Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island and the Surf Coast.
While many admit that most school leavers were well behaved, the preventative measure is being put in place across booking sites because locals perceive it is not worth the potential damage from wild celebrations.