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Schoolies kicks off on the Gold Coast

AAP logoAAP 18/11/2016 Darren Cartwright

Several thousand students have already collected their wristbands in preparation for the opening night of Schoolies on the Gold Coast.

Official celebrations get underway from 7pm in a secured fenced-off precinct at Surfers Paradise known as The Hub on Saturday and about 15,000 students are expected to attend.

Gold Coast Schoolies Community Safety Response chairman Mark Reaburn says up to 25,000 students will visit the area this year with mainly Queenslanders arriving in week one.

"The majority that attend are staying in Surfers," Reaburn told AAP.

"They need photo ID to get a wristband and those that don't we call their parents and ask a series of questions to determine their identity."

The annual event, once a flashpoint for violence and anti-social behaviour, has a strong police presence.

Students have been warned of the consequences of any bad behaviour and also the long-term consequences of impulsive nude selfie poses.

"We've got to trust their judgment, got to rely on them to make good decisions," Chief Superintendent Terry Borland said.

"If they're going to put themselves in conflict, well, certainly police will take action."

Targeted police patrols, monitoring of city cameras and early intervention strategies are key to the policing strategy for the schoolies response.

Drug detection dogs will also be utilised throughout the response with drugs being a major focus for police.

Mr Reaburn said an large influx of students from interstate will arrive next weekend and they'll be expected to have photo ID if they intend to gain entry to The Hub.

Students can expect to wait up to half an hour in line to obtain a wristband.

"When the kids get their wristbands we get their postcode because it helps us to know where the students are coming from and we also ask where they are staying," he said.

As many as 1100 volunteers from various community organisations will provide assistance to revellers, including representatives of youth outreach group Red Frogs as well as on-site medical treatment centres.

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