Schoolies 2019
Schoolies 2019

All the facts from Schoolies 2019

QUEENSLAND Schoolies attendance nosedived by more than a quarter this year, but organisers expect the drop in numbers will not be an ongoing trend.

A total of 15,539 school-leavers celebrated the end of their high school education this week, down 27 per cent from last year.

Of the thousands who attended, 73 per cent of them were aged under-18, 90 per cent were Queenslanders and 83 per cent were staying in accommodation.

Mark Reaburn, chair of the Gold Coast Schoolies advisory group, said it was expected roughly 6000 New South Wales school-leavers, largely aged 18, will celebrate on the Coast into the coming week.

Paris Gaskin and Jessie Whiting at Surfers Paradise for Schoolies 2019. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Gosling
Paris Gaskin and Jessie Whiting at Surfers Paradise for Schoolies 2019. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Gosling

He said the drop in Queensland Schoolies was due to fewer students graduating this year.

"Last year, 50,000 kids graduated from grade 12. This year, 35,000 kids graduated," he said.

"2007 was the first year of the prep year, so this is the first change in that dynamic.

"The number should increase again back to what we consider to be normal next year."

Mr Reaburn said the behaviour of Schoolies "keeps getting better year by year" and he praised volunteers, emergency services, parents and school leavers.

Gold Coast Police Acting Chief Superintendent Craig Hanlon said officers arrested 42 Queensland Schoolies (down about 50 per cent) and charges were largely for drug possession, public nuisance and urinating in a public place.

"We're not the fun police, we just want to make sure everyone has a good time," he said.

Cannabis was far and away the drug police detected most often, but MDMA (ecstasy) use was a concern for police and Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) paramedics throughout the week

Attendance may have been down more than a quarter, but Surfers Paradise was still a hive of activity. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Gosling
Attendance may have been down more than a quarter, but Surfers Paradise was still a hive of activity. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Gosling

Police did not receive any complaints of violence in the Surfers Paradise party precinct.

QAS senior operations supervisor Justin Payne said Emergency Treatment Centre paramedics treated about 460 people during the week, predominantly for minor accidents and intoxication.

About 10 per cent of the patients were taken to hospital.

Police and the Schoolies advisory group were hopeful there would not be any more incidents of dangerous skylarking reported.

Two people, including one registered Schoolie high on MDMA, were found to be misbehaving on high-rise balconies throughout the week.

Mr Reaburn said he had noticed a couple of trends at Schoolies 2019: a reduction in excessive alcohol consumption and curiously, a resurgence of the party-at-the-back "mullet" haircut.


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