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Schoolies urged to make good choices

AAP logoAAP 18/11/2016 Ed Jackson

Queensland school-leavers are being urged not to leave their common sense at home as they head into Schoolies celebrations.

More than 20,000 students are expected to descend on Surfers Paradise from Saturday for a week of celebrations.

Police and organisers say while overall behaviour in recent years has been good, there are still plenty of risks for Schoolies to be aware of.

Drug and alcohol abuse remain a concern as does anti-social behaviour and inappropriate social media posts.

With a strong police presence to be in place throughout the Schoolies celebrations, students are being warned of the consequences of any bad behaviour.

"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.

"What you do now may impact on what you do in the future.

"It's a choice issue."

Approximately 1100 volunteers from various community organisations will be in and amongst the revellers, providing support and assistance.

One of the most popular groups is the Red Frogs, which is expected to hand out four tonnes of the confectionery during the week-long party.

A strong medical response will also be in place, with an on-site ambulance treatment centre (ATC) providing expert attention to those in need.

Last year more than 500 people sought treatment at the ATC for a variety of ailments from exhaustion and illness to broken bones.

Of those treated, about five per cent needed further treatment in hospital.

Queensland Ambulance staff prepare the medical response tent at the Schoolies Hub at Surfers Paradise. © AAP Image/Ed Jackson Queensland Ambulance staff prepare the medical response tent at the Schoolies Hub at Surfers Paradise. Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Justin Payne said anyone in need of medical assistance shouldn't be afraid to seek help, but avoiding risky situations was the best advice.

"It's a time to celebrate, it's certainly not a time to risk your health and wellbeing," Mr Payne said.

The RACQ is also warning Schoolies to stay safe on their way to and from celebration sites.

Figures released to RACQ by the Department of Transport and Main Roads revealed more than 240 P-plate drivers were caught breaking passenger restrictions during the first half of this year.

RACQ's Lauren Ritchie said P1 licence holders under 25 years of age were unable to drive with more than one peer passenger not in their immediate family between 11pm and 5am.

"The message to young drivers is simple: if you drive with a group of friends during restricted hours you're not being a good friend," she said.

"You're putting your life and the lives of your friends in serious danger."

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