Advertisement

Lawyer calls for 2020 Gold Coast Schoolies festivities to be called off

A Gold Coast lawyer has called for the cancellation of the Gold Coast’s 2020 Schoolies celebration due to a COVID-19 risk from interstate visitors.

With Queensland’s borders about to reopen, with the exception of Victorians due to a second wave of COVID-19, lawyer Bruce Simmonds says Schoolies organisers were showing no community concern for safety by pushing on with the annual school leaver events.

The official Schoolies website is running a countdown clock – with just 140 days left to go – and confirms the end of year event is still on. Schoolies.com is still taking bookings for Schoolies some months out.

Schoolies is scheduled to begin on 21 November and run into December, and there’s concern it could be nigh impossible to ensure safe social distancing between the thousands of school leavers in full party-mode.

Last year’s Schoolies drew more than 18,000 attendees to Surfers Paradise.

Mr Simmonds, of Broadbeach firm Parker Simmonds Solicitors & Lawyers, has previously called for Schoolies to be shortened and re-branded as a learning bridge for school leavers between high school and the real world of jobs and university.

He said the realities of COVID-19 was a timely opportunity to re-think the whole Schoolies concept.

“Organisers face an enormous challenge in handling thousands of partying school leavers in town, who are frankly not likely to respect social distancing requirements.

“How will organisers handle the number of teenagers allowed in high-rise lifts at a time?

“We have the World Health Organisation saying the virus is far from over, and health experts saying the worst is yet to come so it’s pretty obvious the coronavirus pandemic will not be under control by late November.

“Queensland has led the way in Australia in controlling the spread of the virus but there’s a real fear an event like Schoolies could wreck all the good work that’s been done.

“The safest option is to plan for the worst which means taking into account infection spread fears to not only the Schoolies but also bystanders, accommodation unit staff and anyone they encounter here,” Mr Simmonds says.

Mr Simmonds says with international travel ruled out this year, it’s expected the Schoolies event could attract a record number of teenagers from all over Australia.

Share this article

Search by keyword