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Unofficial schoolies flood the Sunshine Coast

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Ha-Teya Gripske

Police and Paramedics are rapidly preparing to receive an influx of school leavers planning to hold their celebrations at the Sunshine Coast.

Despite all official schoolies events being cancelled due to COVID-19, accommodation has been completely booked out in Noosa, with authorities expecting up to 5,000 teenagers to flood the Coast.

That's more than double than the usual 1,500 schoolies the region normally sees.

Inspector Pat Swindells from Gympie and Wide Bay patrol says all services are prepared and ready to host the party-goers.

"[What I say] To the young school leavers, who I must say have had a very tough year with COVID-19, enjoy themselves but respect themselves and obey the rules.

"We're putting extra police on just to make sure that everyone who goes up there has a great time and comes home," Mr Swindells says.

Sunshine Coast ambulance services have also increased their support, with additional resources being added from Caloundra all the way through to Rainbow Beach.

 

Noosa Ambulance Station officer-in-charge Annette Morris wants to remind school leavers heading to the Sunshine Coast of the impacts of mixing hot weather with alcohol and drugs.

"We want to make sure that if school leavers are going to party that they party safe, so keep hydrated and share the sun with a bit of shade," Ms Morris says.

Camping an unexpected trend

All available camping sites on the Sunshine Coast have been booked out over the unofficial schoolies weekend.

Michael Devery from Queensland Parks and Wildlife says they have teamed up with police to ensure all teenagers are safe and abiding by the rules.

"We'll be primarily looking at safety...fire is a big concern.

"So we'll be making sure that fires [on the campsites] are managed properly," Mr Devery says.