CELEBRATING: Whitsunday students (Back) Brandon Mutch, James Beaumont-Jones, Matt Wade and (front) Joy Stevens, Tylah Tupaea, Hayley Lesange, Cassidy Pearson and Skye Doyle, will be celebrating Schoolies in the Whitsundays this week. Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times
CELEBRATING: Whitsunday students (Back) Brandon Mutch, James Beaumont-Jones, Matt Wade and (front) Joy Stevens, Tylah Tupaea, Hayley Lesange, Cassidy Pearson and Skye Doyle, will be celebrating Schoolies in the Whitsundays this week. Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times

School's out

SCHOOL'S out - and for 3,000 young people from all over Queensland, Airlie Beach is the perfect place to commemorate this milestone event.

Proserpine State High School graduate Brandon Mutch is just one of the Whtisundays' school leavers who has chosen to celebrate locally this year.

"Bali was out of the question and the Gold Coast is too overcrowded.

Airlie Beach is small, there's a friendly atmosphere and it'll be heaps of fun.

"We've all grown up here, so let's party," he said.

Schoolies officially starts at 8am on Saturday, November 19 but chair for the Whitsundays Schoolies Advisory Committee Deborah Carrington said locals could expect to see associated infrastructure appearing from today.

Ms Carrington said the community could rest assured.

"We're not putting on a party as such."

"This is actually a safety response to ensure that young school leavers who come to the Whitsundays have a safe and enjoyable time," she said.

For the 11th year running, RACQ will provide free2go bus services operating every 20 minutes from this Saturday, November 19 to Wednesday, November 23.

RACQ spokesperson Brodie Bott said the bus services, offering safer transport options to and from main accommodation venues and official Schoolies events, should give parents peace of mind.

"Not only are the buses a safer alternative to walking, they help reduce the temptation to drink and drive or hop into a car with sommeone who has been drinking," he said.

Full details of bus routes can be found on the website www.free2go.com.au/schoolies and for a comprehensive list of activities and safety measures visit www.whitsundayschoolies.qld.gov.au.


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