Minister’s head-in-the-sand on Schoolies
Why is the State Government running scared when it comes to scrapping Schoolies this year?
It's August, only three months out from the annual 'rite-of-passage' festival in Surfers Paradise, yet tens of thousands of teenagers from around Australia and their parents remain in limbo.
There's still no word on whether Schoolies will go ahead in November. This is despite the cancellation of other mass gathering events, like the Gold Coast Marathon and Gold Coast 600 motor race, months out from when they were to be held.
Reservations agency Schoolies.com is continuing to take bookings for this year's Schoolies, with many school-leavers having already spent hundreds of dollars on accommodation.
Yet the Government is refusing to say if Schoolies will go ahead, leaving everyone - the kids, their parents, accommodation owners and operators and Surfers Paradise businesses - in the dark.
As always, the Government is hiding behind the cute facade that it doesn't actually organise Schoolies.
This is despite spending millions of dollars of taxpayer funds over the years providing police, paramedics, security and free beach concerts as part of the 'Safer Schoolies Gold Coast Response'.
"The plan for the 2020 Safer Schoolies Gold Coast Response will be decided and communicated based on expert health advice and best practice for keeping school leavers and the community safe," Youth and Child Safety Minister Di Farmer said.
It's a head-in-the-sand response.
As the second wave of COVID-19 hits Victoria and NSW, and Queensland battles its own mini-outbreak, surely Schoolies can't possibly go ahead?
Imagine trying to enforce social distancing with 40,000 drunken, drugged and horny teens running amok in Surfers?
And how the hell are they going to get here anyway, with Queensland's border closed to all of Sydney, as well as Victoria?
Minister Farmer is kidding us.
Coast Mayor Tom Tate has cheekily suggested that Schoolies could become a Zoom party.
That could be the virtual reality.
Originally published as Minister's head-in-the-sand on Schoolies