John D'Orazio

John D'Orazio

Former Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Justice; Community Safety

    Making 'Leavers 2006' a safe and positive experience

    30/03/2006 9:06 AM

    Making ‘Leavers 2006’ a safe and positive experience for school leavers and for the communities that host them is the focus of a two-day symposium which opens in Busselton today.

    Community Safety Minister John D’Orazio said the State Government’s approach to managing ‘Leavers’ was based on a five-point plan, which provided:
    • a focus on rights and responsibilities;
    • improved safety through robust policing and harm minimisation;
    • active support to regional communities to manage visiting school leavers;
    • better co-ordination between Government and non-Government agencies; and
    • research into improved ways to manage large groups of young people.
    “Leavers should be able to have a good time, but not at the expense of the safety of affected communities, nor of school leavers themselves,” Mr D’Orazio said.

    The Minister said that in 2005 it was estimated that 10,000 young Western Australians celebrated Leavers.

    About half of these celebrated in the South-West in Dunsborough, Margaret River, Augusta and Busselton. Other key destinations included Rottnest Island, Kalbarri and Lancelin.

    South-West MLC Adele Farina, who will open the symposium, said that planning which began in May last year had led to fewer offences and arrests in some of the key Leavers hotspots in 2005.

    “In Dunsborough, new strategies included ID wristbands for leavers, parent and leavers’ websites, a ‘Leavers’ Zone’, a surfing competition, and use of ‘move on’ notices for those loitering in the centre of Dunsborough,” Ms Farina said.

    “This led to a 74 per cent reduction in charges for disorderly conduct and a 57 per cent reduction in ambulance call outs to Busselton District Hospital.

    “Costs incurred for repairs and cleanup to Dunsborough also reduced by 48 per cent.”

    The symposium, hosted by the Office of Crime Prevention, brings together key representatives of affected communities and their local governments, youth, State Government agencies, including police and health services, and non-Government organisations.

    It will include keynote speakers from the City of Victor Harbour in South Australia and Byron Bay in New South Wales who will outline strategies successfully deployed in other States.

    Minister's office: 9213 7150