Parents, be Adults, not adolescents >.
PARENTS of Schoolies revellers are ignoring pleas from police, politicians and welfare leaders to stop buying alcohol for their underage children.
Police were forced to issue a $750 fine to the father of a former student of St Joseph’s Nudgee College who defied an order to tip out the alcohol bought for his underage son.
Police spotted the man unloading alcohol outside a Surfers Paradise apartment on Saturday afternoon, first issuing him with a caution, then ordering him to tip out the alcohol, before he defiantly declared: ”I’ll just go and get some more”.
Gold Coast police superintendent Jim Keogh described the incident as ”extremely disappointing”.
”It is irresponsible and in one instance, certainly, you had a parent who just openly defied police instruction and that is a real concern,” he said.
A number of tip-out orders were also issued against other parents.
Nudgee College dean of students Paul Begg said the incident was disappointing as students were taught about the impacts of alcohol and violence.
New figures show parents worry more about their children being bullied and the amount of time spent in front of the computer than drinking alcohol.
The Australia-wide survey commissioned by parenting group Generation Next found nearly half of all parents think it is OK to sometimes serve alcohol to a 16-year-old.
But alcohol and drug experts said children are too young to drink alcohol at 16 years of age, mostly because their brains were yet to be fully developed.
”In terms of brain development, it’s a key time and the evidence says quite clearly you should delay the onset of drinking for as long as possible.”
Asked about their concerns for their children, 60 per cent of parents were worried about bullying, 42 per cent feared their children were on the computer too long, 41 per cent were anxious about children having sex at a young age and 37 per cent worried about children using illegal drugs, while just 33 per cent nominated drinking alcohol.
Australian Medical Association Queensland President Dr Mason Stevenson said parents appeared to have their priorities wrong.
”It concerns me if any survey puts alcohol misuse further down the list when, medically speaking, it needs to be top of the list,” he said.
”It is our number one drug problem in Australia. Parents are grossly underestimating the problem and . . . the young person’s risk of harm.”
Gold Coast Schoolies Advisory Board chairman Mark Reaburn said parents had to set a better example.
”One parent paid a very expensive price,” he said. ”We know kids are going to consume alcohol at Schoolies, but the parents have to accept some responsibility as well.”
Police and Schoolies officials were happy with the overall behaviour of revellers on the Gold Coast. Of the 30 schoolies arrested on Saturday’s traditionally wild opening night, most were for drunk and disorderly or public nuisance offences, with just three drug arrests and none for violent crime.
Schoolies organisers issued about 20,000 wristbands for the exclusive schoolies-only entertainment hub, but only about 12,000 attended the venue, an alcohol-free beachfront area fenced off from ”Toolies” (older hangers-on) and other troublemakers.
There were 88 non-schoolies arrests on Saturday night, though Supt Keogh did not label them Toolies.