Inspector Owen King from Byron Bay police signs the Schoolies joint vision statement. He is surrounded by other key stakeholders.
Inspector Owen King from Byron Bay police signs the Schoolies joint vision statement. He is surrounded by other key stakeholders.

A joint vision for Schoolies

Schoolies arriving in Byron Bay in November and December for their end-of-year celebrations can be assured of a safe and secure environment thanks to the signing last week of a joint vision statement.


Thirteen key stakeholders signed the statement which will ensure a co-ordinated effort to cater for an expected 10,000 school leavers.


Chairman of the Byron Schoolies Safety Response Group John Gudgeon said the impact of Schoolies on the community was enormous. “Schoolies chose to come to Byron Bay, we didn’t choose them, but it is important that the community work together to provide a safe and secure environment for them,” he said.


The group’s media spokesperson and HUB co-ordinator, Nicqui Yazdi, said this year would see a more co-ordinated effort from everyone involved with Schoolies.


“We have more of a vision now. We are looking at more green initiatives, more training for our volunteers and more activities,” she said.


Byron Bay police duty officer Inspector Owen King said this year there was more money to help fund the safety initiatives.


He said the council had come on board financially and there would be more police on the beat.


“Schoolies is now the busiest time in Byron. Busier even than New Year’s Eve and at festival time, so there will be an additional police presence on the beachfront and near the Schoolies HUB,” Inspector King said.


Mr Gudgeon said the signing of the vision statement had been an amazing experience where everyone had shared a common objective. “This is very encouraging for the community and a worthwhile outcome,” he said.


The 13 key stakeholders include: Byron United, Byron Youth Service, BUDDI-CDAT (Byron Underage Drinking and Drug Initiative – Community Drug Action Team), Byron Shire Council, Byron Bay Police, Byron Visitors Centre, Byron Liquor Accord, Holiday Letting Organisation, INTRA-Youth Service-The Buttery, North Coast Area Health Service, Byron Bay Fire Brigade, Byron Bay Ambulance Service, Byron Bay Hospital, The Red Frogs and YWAM (Youth With A Mission).


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