Byron Bay Schoolies were ‘great’

BYRON Bay has put the Gold Coast to shame as police praised the behaviour of thousands of schoolies at the weekend.

Saturday night was expected to be the biggest of Schoolies Week, which actually spans across three weekends, as New South Wales and Victorian year 12 graduates joined those from Queensland.

Byron Bay duty officer Insp Owen King said it was a busy night, but there were no major problems.

“People celebrating Schoolies have been well behaved,” he said.

“The problems we’ve been seeing have been with what they call the toolies (those over 18) and foolies (under 18).”

He said there had been several people charged with assault, but none were schoolies.

Byron Bay Schoolies Hub co-ordinator Nicqui Yazdi also said the majority should be proud of their behaviour.

“It’s been pretty good and most are really polite,” she said.

“They’ve been coming to us looking for a bit of mum love.

“They’ve been wanting Bandaids and things like that.

“You’ve got to remember that they’re still kids, but they’ve been great.”

The Schoolies in Byron Bay are a far cry from those who have visited the Gold Coast over the past week.

High arrest figures and debaucherous behaviour on the Gold Coast have resulted in calls from the community for Schoolies Week to be cancelled and for state and council funding for the event to be cut.

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke called this year’s Schoolies Week the ‘worst ever’.

On Saturday night police handed out more than 150 tickets to schoolies for consuming alcohol in a public place and forced another 123 schoolies to tip-out alcohol.

Three schoolies were arrested on drug charges.

On day nine of the annual end of school year event, Surfers Paradise played host to about 3500 youngsters.

Besides three schoolies being arrested for drug offences, three were arrested for being drunk, two for public nuisance and one for disobeying a police direction.

Six of them were from NSW.

Police said 70 non-schoolies were also arrested.

Ms Yazdi said schoolies came to Byron Bay knowing it would be different.

“The kids who come here know that it’s laid back and there are no big organised parties for them,” she said.

“Byron Bay is the place to be.”

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