The last night of official schoolies celebrations have wrapped up in Surfers Paradise with thousands of school leavers enjoying the festivities.
Police say there were no major incidents with only eight schoolies arrested on eight offences which were mainly street and drug offences.
There were also 15 non-schoolies arrested on 20 offences including public nuisance, and drug offences.
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While a majority of Queenslanders will move on now, a large number of interstate schoolies have begun arriving on the Gold Coast. That means the increased police presence will remain in the Surfers Paradise precinct throughout the next two weeks.
With the majority of interstate schoolies being 18 years of age and over, the policing strategy for the next few weeks will shift towards licensed venues.
The Queensland Ambulance Service’s Justin Payne has been asked by reporters if he’s seen heavy drug use this year.
He replied that “some of the patients we see do appear to be under the influence of illicit substances but generally that’s not what they’re coming to see us for”.
Mr Payne said they saw 104 patients within the schoolies precinct, eight of them were taken to various hospitals on the Gold Coast.
He admitted Friday night was the “busiest night for the Queensland Ambulance Service, the next closest night we had was in the 90’s and the total number that we’ve treated this year was 550 patients, which is a slight increase on last year’s figures”.
Last year the QAS treated 514 school leavers in the schoolies precinct.
Interestingly Mr Payne said the types of injuries they’re treating have changed “we’re not getting the heavy intoxications that we used to see in the past, although there is evidence of drinking it is good to see that they’re not heavily intoxicated and we’re actually treating for a lot of other symptoms trauma, cuts and abrasions and things like that”.
He said a majority of injuries have happened while graduates have been dancing in the mosh pit on the beach or while walking around without shoes but there have been a small number of assaults.
Overall he said the kids have been fairly well behaved and have been keen to get a ‘selfie’ with a paramedic during their stay in Surfers.
Byron Bay’s expected to be flooded with school leavers from this weekend – with New South Wales a week behind Queensland.
Detective Chief Inspector Brendan Cullen said Officers are bracing to deal with balcony-hopping after a boy fell two floors in Surfers this week.