Media Release - Ideal location for schoolies

Media Release

Fact is it is illegal to drink if you are under the age of 18. Alcohol is classed as a depressant, meaning that it slows down vital functions which affects the way you think, feel and behave. Raise the drinking age to 21.

School-leavers in Queensland are engaging in alarming rates of risk-taking behaviour under the influence of alcohol and it is only 2 days away before they engage some more. Many don’t want to listen to any warnings about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Many schoolies start drinking in their rooms before hitting the beach parties.

More than a third of Queensland teens have admitted to being a passenger in a car with a driver they believed was over the legal limit, according to shocking RACQ statistics.

Parents are right to be anxious about Schoolies, but not only for reasons of binge drinking, pill popping and random sexual encounters. Property damage and reckless behaviour leading to violence increased so much that it doubled the 2015 tally in 2016 – this part of the equation is deeply troubling.

Five ways that Iceland tackled its huge problem of getting young people between 15 and 16 to give up drink and drugs decreased from 42% to 5% by implementing a 5-point strategy. We can do this here.

  1. Bring in a curfew – Kids under 16 must be indoors by 10pm. This is not a curtailment of rights, these are positive boundaries.
  2. Parents sign a pledge – Groups of parents agreeing on rules for their children’s behaviour so they can reach their full potential.
  3. Keep kids occupied – Every year they receive a voucher for $500 for outdoor activities.
  4. Teenagers fill in a survey every year – Measuring different aspects of their lives in order to make good choices for their future.
  5. Get politicians onside – Build on evidence and research. Funding.

Wouldn’t it be terrific to be fostering healthy celebrations for schoolies and not encourage alcohol and drug taking which results in poor behaviour? We must be working with all the tourism operators and motels putting packages together, value adding to our tourism portfolio. I’m sure parents would prefer their children to come here as opposed to the Gold Coast given the option.

We must encourage these young adults; there is no better high than a natural one and marketing this as an alcohol and drug free event. Nightlife could be increased during this period and also during other holiday periods to give the youth some experiences that they will fondly remember for the rest of their lives. Tourism bodies and stakeholders could put packages together and have live music playing in several places along the esplanade. With so much accommodation available for all budgets, this should be seriously considered for the future.

#safealternative #schoolies #BuildingBetterTogether

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