Local authorities are ready to welcome thousands of eager school leavers, with Schoolies celebrations about to kick off.
The end of high school celebration is making a long-awaited return to the Gold Coast, after having to be cancelled due to Covid last year.
A multi-agency approach to safety has seen surfers Paradise transform into a safe-party precinct for the teens, which includes the beach stage once again.
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GC Schoolies Advisory Group Chairman Mark Reaburn has told Today tonight will be a bit of a test for the infrastructure in place, but they’re prepared.
“We’ve had to work to a COVID-safe plan that is a lot of work has gone into that and as part of that plan we have to look at the alternatives.
“What happens if this happens. Totally sanctioned and approved by Queensland Health and if Queensland Health says we have to do things differently we have the structure and the wherewithal to do that.
“This year we have a COVID- safe plan. Check-ins for the kids. We will be socially distancing in the wrist band distribution centre.
“So if you are a school leaver, you bring your school ID, you get a wrist Brand band.
“The wrist band gives you entry to the hub, which is the safe zone for the school leavers, two stages, 50m apart on the sand,” Mr Reaburn said.
The highly-anticipated beach stage will feature various DJs through to midnight each night, which is often a popular drawcard for the schoolies.
Mr Reaburn says that the set-up actually serves an important purpose safety-wise as well.
“The kids think it’s a beach party we consider it a diversion because the stages are running from 7 pm till midnight.
“The idea is that the Schoolies are on the beach in the soft sand wearing themselves out.
“It’s important to get them out of their rooms into a safe zone as far as we are concerned.
“And the idea is for the school leavers to be safe and that is our mantra internally.
“But for the school leavers, it’s be safe and watch your mates. And we just continue to pursue that with the kids,” Mr Reaburn said.