Warnings as Schoolies celebrations begin

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As tens of thousands school leavers prepare to descend on the Gold Coast and other parts of Australia to celebrate, authorities are reminding Schoolies to stay safe during the festivities.

About 20,000 schoolies are expected attend the first week of celebrations on the Gold Coast, with extra police officers expected to be seen school leavers safe.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said there would be an increased police presence on the Gold Coast this week, with an estimated 130 officers on duty each night in the Schoolies precinct.

“The police are here to keep everyone safe,” Commissioner Carroll said.

Schoolies from across the country will be celebrating at Surfers Paradise events all week Picture: Jason O'Brien / Sunday MailSchoolies from across the country will be celebrating at Surfers Paradise events all week Picture: Jason O’Brien / Sunday Mail

“I would encourage young people to strike up conversations with the crews at Schoolies this week.

“We are here to support school-leavers, and would encourage them to visit the integrated health and wellbeing space if they require any emergency medical services and assistance, including access to specialist mental health support.

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said those celebrating the end of their schooling should stay vigilant and watch out for each other.

“Graduating school is a momentous occasion, and celebrating at Schoolies has become a rite of passage for many,” Mr Ryan said.

“It is imperative, however, that young people celebrate responsibly, and importantly, that they know who to contact for help.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll urges Schoolies to be vigilant when celebrating the end of their schooling. Picture: Liam KidstonPolice Commissioner Katarina Carroll urges Schoolies to be vigilant when celebrating the end of their schooling. Picture: Liam Kidston

“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.

“Charge your phones, plan ahead and check in with your loved ones back home.

“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.”

Police will conduct random wanding for concealed weapons within the Safe Night Precinct, while governing bodies will conduct venue checks for underage and fake IDs.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O‘Callaghan says Schoolies will provide a big boost to the economy. Picture: Luke MarsdenDestination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O‘Callaghan says Schoolies will provide a big boost to the economy. Picture: Luke Marsden

School leavers are encouraged to visit Recharge Zones located within the Schoolies Hub and along the Esplanade if in need of water or assistance.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said Gold Coast businesses were looking forward to Schoolies starting.

“We know it has been a really difficult two years and hope that this year’s school leavers can celebrate together and make the most of the Gold Coast’s incredible line up of experiences on offer,” Ms O’Callaghan said.

“Accommodation providers are telling us that bookings are strong, and we anticipate the economic benefit will flow throughout the region.”

Other states are also preparing for thousands of schoolies to celebrate in their towns.

Police will be out in force across the country ahead on schoolies celebrations.Police will be out in force across the country ahead on schoolies celebrations.

Just under 10,000 school leavers are set to celebrate schoolies on the Mornington Peninsula this year, while another 3000 are expected on the Bass and Surf Coasts in towns such as Phillip Island, Cowes and Torquay.

The Herald Sun reports school leavers heading to Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island and the Surf Coast are being asked to front up to $2500 for bonds and guarantees they will not make excessive noise in residential areas.

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