Bass Coast,

Bass Coast Ready For Schoolies

Schoolies week is fast approaching, with Bass Coast Shire Council preparing for school leavers to holiday in the region.

Schoolies are urged to register online with Council prior to their arrival so it can adequately prepare and ensure all residents and school leavers are safe during this busy period.

Council’s Acting General Manager Healthy Communities, Jamie Sutherland said all registered schoolies receive an official wristband, access to free ‘get home safely’ buses, free water and discounts to local attractions and businesses.

“Schoolies registration provides resources that assist young people to enjoy the best of what we have to offer,” Mr Sutherland said.

The Red Frogs, a national volunteer organisation, will be present to offer support and safety information to school leavers and residents during the first week of Schoolies from 28 November to 6 December.

Red Frogs assist with the shuttle bus program, foreshore rubbish collection, free pancake breakfasts and provide assistance to Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria when and if required.

The Red Frogs will have a safety marquee set up on the Cowes Foreshore each evening to help provide assistance to Schoolies in need during this time.

“Last year this marquee was a huge success with the Schoolies recognising that help was at hand if they needed it,” Mr Sutherland said.

“The marquee also provided a safe waiting place to wait for transport, friends or emergency services.

Mr Sutherland said that planning for schoolies has been a coordinated approach with other key agencies.

“We recognise that there will be an increase of 17 to 19 year olds in Bass Coast, particularly Phillip Island, San Remo and Inverloch from late November to early December.

“Our focus is safety and respect for the residents and local environment, and security will be on hand to patrol the Cowes foreshore,” Mr Sutherland said.

“Last year we had almost 800 school leavers visit Phillip Island during schoolies and similar numbers are expected this year.

Mr Sutherland said since Council began undertaking a more coordinated approach towards Schoolies incidents of vandalism, violence and nuisance complaints had dramatically reduced.

“I think there has been a real switch in the type of young people that Bass Coast attracts. Many of them realise that Bass Coast is not the place to come and party,” Mr Sutherland said.

“Many of the Schoolies choose Bass Coast as their preferred location due to the relaxed atmosphere the area provides.”

Even with all this planning, problems may occur for some residents.

Residents can contact Council if they have any concerns on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211, or in the case of an emergency, contact Victoria Police on 000.