Capes region braces for bumper leavers crowd

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
VideoPolice and support groups have issued a warning ahead of this years leaver's celebrations.

Accommodation bookings suggest this year’s leavers’ week will be the biggest ever, with more than 8000 high school graduates expected to descend on the region this month.

Busselton City Mayor Grant Henley said the latest figures showed record numbers, and the City would welcome the young visitors with open arms.

“As always, the City welcomes these young visitors and wishes them a very safe and happy experience,” he said.

While the revellers are occasionally met with scepticism from residents, police have had nothing but praise for the young visitors for several years running.

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Last year no charges were laid during the South West celebrations.

The week is also a big boon for business, with figures suggesting leavers’ week generates several million dollars for the local economy each year.

Visitors are expected to start trickling into the region from late next week, and the official Leavers’ Zone will operate from Monday, November 19-Thursday, November 22. The popular Meelup Beach Day will be held on Wednesday, November 21.

St John Ambulance will bring in about 35 additional ambulance personnel to support the bumper crowd and urges leavers to have fun but “use your common sense”.

“All the agencies involved in leavers’ (week) are here to assist you and keep you safe, not to catch you out, so if something isn’t right, come talk to us,” St John Margaret River community paramedic Dane Hendry said.

“If you or a friend does need treatment, it’s vital that paramedics are given accurate information so we can provide the right assistance to ensure the best possible outcomes.”

Cr Henley praised the good work of the agencies and organisations involved, including WA Police, Redfrogs, WA Baptists, Royal Lifesaving, Hope Community Council and the WA AIDS Council.

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