Lindsay Jeon, Tiarna Kelly and Shania Johnston-Muir from Brisbane enjoyed Schoolies on the Gold Coast last year. (AAP image, John Gass)
Lindsay Jeon, Tiarna Kelly and Shania Johnston-Muir from Brisbane enjoyed Schoolies on the Gold Coast last year. (AAP image, John Gass)

Slashing Schoolies a ‘stupid decision’

A LEADING Gold Coast businessman says it is "a stupid decision" to cut back Schoolies to a three-day celebration.

But businesses support the change, hoping it will draw back more tourists to the Glitter Strip.

The comments come after the Bulletin revealed Mayor Tom Tate and drug and alcohol experts backed a push to shorten the annual school leavers festival from one week to three days.

Cross Promotions owner Billy Cross said the yearly event is a rite of passage for school leavers, and stripping back the celebrations was "the most stupid decision".

"If you have a three-day event the kids will still come for a week," he said.

"What happens for the other four days. Will they just run riot in the streets?"

HOW SCHOOLIES PUTS KIDS AT RISK

Scoolies on the Gold Coast. Picture: John Gass
Scoolies on the Gold Coast. Picture: John Gass

 

Mr Cross's company Cross Promotions runs the Schoolies-only beach concerts during the celebrations each year.

LNP State Member for Surfers Paradise John-Paul Langbroek said without strong planning it will return to the days where Schoolies was mayhem.

In the early 1990s Schoolies weeks was known for violent brawls and excessive alcohol consumption.

In recent years the event has become more "locked down" with specific events which are all alcohol-free.

FLASHBACK: SCHOOLIES' GREATEST HITS

Beach-based activities have moved the focus of Schoolies from the clubs to the sand. (AAP image, John Gass)
Beach-based activities have moved the focus of Schoolies from the clubs to the sand. (AAP image, John Gass)

Owner of The Avenue in Surfers Paradise Michael Russo said currently the week-long event was "bad for business".

"Schoolies is our worst time of year," Mr Russo said.

"We support a three-day event."

Surfers Paradise Alliance CEO Mike Winlaw agreed the week long celebration was too long: "Planning will be needed, but I think scaling it back would be beneficial for all".

Gold Coast Division 7 councillor Gary Baildon said he was on the fence, but believed the

Year 12 school leavers behaviour had improved over the years.