Year 12 high school leavers celebrations will go ahead in Western Australia from November 23 to 26 this year with the night time party spot The Zone to be set up in Dunsborough in the state’s South West.
- The celebrations will go ahead despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
- The two-square-metre rule will still need to be adhered to
- Police say a recent regional tourism rush has left accommodation scarce
The annual Meelup Beach Party has also been given the green light despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
After an uncertain final year of school the message to leavers from WA Police Acting Commander Tony Colfer was to “go down to the South West and thoroughly enjoy yourself”.
“I’ve got full confidence that Leavers 2020 will go as planned,” he said.
“If you’re going to go down there with the intention of causing problems, you’ll be dealt with accordingly and you’ll be packing your bags and you’ll be out of that location.”
Police said the event was possible because of an easing of restrictions which would allow music and other festivals with more than 500 people to proceed, so long as organisers submit a COVID-19 event plan to the Department of Health.
Police said the two-square-metre rule would still apply to the leavers event and extra efforts would be made to ensure hygiene was prioritised.
WA Police and about 400 volunteers were set to be deployed to the event, with some acting as COVID marshals to maintain social distancing, but Acting Commander Colfer said the shift in police resources would not impact on current quarantine operations.
Accommodation booking out quickly
However, given the recent rush on intrastate holidays, Acting Commander Colfer said accommodation was booking out quickly and if Year 12s did not have somewhere to stay they should not attend.
“If you haven’t got accommodation booked, don’t go,” he said.
“The last thing that we want is people sleeping rough on beaches, national parks and being vulnerable to others.”
The race for accommodation could be even more competitive this year because of travel restrictions preventing leavers from going to Bali, the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.
Busselton Four Seasons Holiday Park manager Natalie Darby said there had already been a strong demand for bookings despite the park being closed to other guests during Leavers week.
“Our bookings have been pretty much on par with previous years … we’re now pretty much at full capacity,” she said.
But Ms Darby welcomed the news of the “party zone” because she had been concerned about how to keep the teenagers safe.
“The biggest thing is not allowing the kids to get bored, because that is when they start creating all sorts of issues out of boredom,” she said.
“And our concerns were keeping them safe and occupied, and off the streets and not annoying the community.”