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Record numbers of schoolies

Whitsunday school leavers Emily McDonald, Amy Mills, Mat McCurry, Megan Sharrock and Kelsey McCarthy were having a ball at schoolies over the weekend.
Whitsunday school leavers Emily McDonald, Amy Mills, Mat McCurry, Megan Sharrock and Kelsey McCarthy were having a ball at schoolies over the weekend.

THE majority of this year’s school leavers have received an A-plus from police and organisers despite poor weather and an increase in numbers.

There were 16 arrests for public nuisance offences in the first four days of schoolies.

A total of 2837 students registered for the event this year. This compares to the previous record last year of 2643 students last year.

They have travelled from as far north as Cairns and as far south as Yeppoon. There is also a small group from Sydney taking part in the celebrations in Airlie.

Officer on charge of Whitsunday Police, Senior Sergeant Steve O’Connell said the majority of students had behaved well. "We’ve only had negative contact with about 0.5 per cent of them," he said.

"So 99.5 per cent have been good."

Thirty-five students had been fined for having alcohol.

There were four people charged with supplying alcohol to minors but Sgt O’Connell said these people were their 18 and 19-year-old peers.

There was some rivalry between Mackay and Townsville students, which Sgt O’Connell put down as "school boy skirmish" with two reported fights on the weekend at Nomads backpackers.

A total of 10 schoolies were taken to the Proserpine hospital emergency department between Saturday and Wednesday morning.

There were six cases of alcohol intoxication and vomiting, one of dehydration and one student with an ankle injury.

Another two students had injuries from fights with one requiring stitches. A Proserpine hospital spokesperson said alcohol had been a factor in all 10 cases.

They said this figure of hospital visits was on par with the schoolies event last year.


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