Misgivingsover leavers

Catherine MasseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
WA Leavers, heading to Busselton and Dunsborough for 23 – 26 November 2020!
MUST CREDIT: Tim Campbell
Pics taken from www.margaretriver.com/
Camera IconWA Leavers, heading to Busselton and Dunsborough for 23 – 26 November 2020! MUST CREDIT: Tim Campbell Pics taken from www.margaretriver.com/ Credit: Tim Campbell

A new format for leavers celebrations this year has accommodation providers worried about the potential for out-of-control parties.

Celebrations will go ahead in November without the traditional Entertainment Zone, and there are concerns the fragmented celebrations could create anti-social behaviour.

Broadwater resort manager and director Evan Lewis said the Entertainment Zone was a key tenant for the event’s safety and he was concerned about this responsibility now being directed towards his facility.

“I was surprised the event was proceeding this year due to the pushback and the safety concerns but we will be working heavily with our counterparts to ensure the kids are kept active and we don’t have problems in our resort.”

“As the situation evolves, I hope additional resources are going to be available to us now that the zone is not going ahead.

I hope we receive the usual zone personnel provided by the Red Frogs and the police to assist us with controlling potential situations.”

Registered Accommodation Providers Margaret River Region chairwoman Debbie Noonan said it was important for the event to proceed because many accommodation providers in Busselton and Dunsborough relied on the income provided by leavers.

With the popular Entertainment Zone cancelled, Ms Noonan hoped leavers would stay in the region longer to assist with the tourism industry’s recovery.

A spokeswoman for Beachlands Holiday Park said she believed leavers staying at the park would throw parties without the designated party area at the Entertainment Zone.

“I think a lot of the Airbnbs and less secured accommodations without staff to watch over everything will have some problems,” she said.

“The safety aspect of the zone not going ahead makes sense but in the long run it will cause a few more problems for locals, accommodation providers and police.”

Leavers WA project manager Clint Browning said this year’s celebration would be the most diverse and interesting ever delivered.

He said because of the uncertain environment caused by COVID-19, this year’s leavers would focus on smaller and more flexible events.

“A great outcome of this is that we will bring the local community and local business in the South West on board more than ever to support our leavers delivery,” he said.

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