MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council, Red Frogs Youth Support Program and police are planning to ramp up their services during Schoolies Week, 23-30 November.
This includes setting aside a section of the Rye foreshore for school leavers during the notorious party week. The aim is to give shire officers and police a greater oversight of schoolies’ activities, particularly at night.
Cr David Gill said the increase in services was needed to address the influx of visitors and heightened community concerns caused by last year’s episodes of anti-social behaviour.
“While the shire is not promoting the Mornington Peninsula as a Schoolies destination, we know that school leavers will visit and, therefore, we have a duty of care to those young people while they are here,” Cr Gill said.
“Based on feedback from our community, this year the shire has increased our services in partnership with local police and Red Frogs to help keep everyone safe on the peninsula.
“This year we’ll have additional youth services staff on the ground day and night working closely with local police and support staff from Red Frogs, DanceWize and many others.
“Our main priority is safety and creating a safe environment for residents and school leavers.”
Rye foreshore playground and public toilets will be open to the public throughout this period.
The shire’s Short Stay Rental Local Law is in force and holiday-home owners are advised to be aware of their responsibilities and to think about those they are renting out their homes to, Cr Gill said.
Under the law, homeowners are responsible for inappropriate behaviour by their tenants and could be fined up to $2000 per offence for any breach of the Local Law or Code of Conduct.
Inappropriate behaviour can be reported to the shire at any time of the day or night on 1300 850 600. However, any intervention with the occupants of short-stay rentals remains the responsibility of the homeowner or police.
School leavers travelling to the Surf Coast, Bass Coast or Mornington Peninsula are encouraged to register their attendance via Good Times Great Breaks, which is supported by the state government.
Register online at: goodtimesgreatbreaks.wordpress.com