26 September 2023

Police step up for Schoolies patrols

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The Queensland Police Service says visitors to the Cooloola Coast can expect an increased police and ranger presence around campsites and beaches while Schoolies Week 2020 continues.

Inspector Pat Swindells from the Gympie Patrol Group, said police were conducting land and water patrols from Inskip Point to Rainbow Beach, down to Teewah Beach, ensuring all school leavers remained safe whilst enjoying their end-of-year celebrations.

“One of the main focuses for police will be to monitor the driving behaviour of young people on the beaches,” Inspector Swindells said.

“We’ve had a number of recent tragedies where four-wheel-drive vehicles have been travelling at excessive speeds, resulting in the loss of lives.”

He said the last thing he wanted to have to do was to tell any parent that their child would not be returning home from Schoolies.

“Police are asking young people to look out for their mates, and not let them get behind the wheel after drinking, as we will be out enforcing safe driving practices,” the Inspector said.

“Queensland Police, in conjunction with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers, will be conducting compliance checks and are reminding visitors that they will need to display the required permits,” he said.

Acting Principal Ranger, Nick Smith said rangers would also be educating school leavers about responsible behaviour in national parks.

“Most visitors to our national parks and recreation areas do the right thing, but rangers can issue fines for not having the necessary permits and for environmental and socially inappropriate behaviour,” Mr Smith said.

“It is an offence in recreation areas to remove branches from trees or collect fallen branches for firewood in Queensland national parks,” he said.

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