Schoolies visitors, from left, Melanie Peterson and Olivia Burns, both from Melbourne, Sam Harrison, Jordan Thomas, Ed ’Rambo’, John St Clair, and Danny Burgess, all from Sydney.
Schoolies visitors, from left, Melanie Peterson and Olivia Burns, both from Melbourne, Sam Harrison, Jordan Thomas, Ed ’Rambo’, John St Clair, and Danny Burgess, all from Sydney.

Knives are out over schoolies

SCHOOLIES partying hard in Byron Bay say they love the town but ‘the locals hate us’ and did not want them around or renting houses in residential areas.

They said the locals should tolerate schoolies because they bring plenty of money to the town.

One schoolie claimed two locals slashed out at him with knives on a local beach.

“It is pretty cruisy but at night the locals get a bit aggressive about schoolies,” Ed said.

“I nearly got stabbed with a knife when two local guys grabbed me on the beach and started stabbing at me with their knives.

“Telling me to get the f... out of our town. I just ran ... it was scary.”

The predicament of schoolies underscores the anger that has been simmering among many residents over holiday lettings in residential areas, causing ugly confrontations between neighbours, with AVO’s being taken out to silence critics and legal matters pending.

Byron Holiday Letting Association president John Gudgeon said the behaviour of the 2008 year schoolies had been very good when considering the hundreds that were in the town, but they had to remember their signed rental contracts meant they must behave as other residents did – follow the code of behaviour residents expected.

Mr Gudgeon said he did not believe residents were too quick to complain about noise.
“Any noise is too much,” he said.

“People who rent in a residential area know they must behave as residents would.”

A group of 10 lads from Cronulla in Sydney who were ‘fined’ by a security guard because of their noise, said it was very unfair to encourage celebrating schoolies to rent a house on the internet only to discover when they arrived it was stuck in the middle of a residential street and they had to be quiet.

They agreed they had been noisy when the security officer was called at 3am by an irate neighbour for the second time.

“We all feel a bit constrained, you have got to be able to talk,” Ed said.

“A lot (of other schoolies) think the houses they are renting are not in the right places but you don’t get told they are in residential areas when you book on the internet.”

Mr Gudgeon said internet bookings can prove to be a problem as owners can’t vet them, and this could be unfair as renters like schoolies could have the (wrong) impression they could do as they like.
Another of the lads, John, said he had been sleeping on the couch at another schoolies Byron house when police arrived and fined the renters $200 after the neighbours had complained about noise.

Mr Gudgeon said fees paid by members of the Holiday Lettings Association covered the cost of the private security service but there was an additional cost when officers were called on the hotline by a neighbour complaining and had to attend the rented home or apartment.

“It is not a fine but a charge for the security officer to attend at their rented house,” he said.
“The $100 is taken out of their bond,” he said.

Melbourne girl Olivia Burns is renting a house with six other girlfriends and said the owner had warned them to behave because of the neighbours.

“All the locals hate us being here and want to get us out,” she said.

“Schoolies are only here for a week so they should go and tolerate it.

“They are making a lot of money out of us.”

One unnamed neighbour living further along the street said he had heard the loud voices and laughter ‘of a crowd of kids having fun’ at the holiday letting but it had not been too bad.

He said it was wrong owners could rent out these homes in quiet leafy neighbourhoods for short-term holiday lettings.

Meanwhile the group are determined to keep the party going.

“We are here to get wasted every night,’’ one of the former Year 12 students said.

Another, said his role was to make sure they did not make any noise after being fined $100 by a security officer who came twice within three days.

The lads said they were out to party hard, drink beer and down vodka shots, swim, and get as many “ouss” – a code for chicks.

“It has been pretty intense,” said Jordan.

“We don’t sleep much at all.”

With a combined kitty they have already spent hundreds of dollars on booze.

However,  Byron Police Inspector Shane Diehm confirmed there had only been minor incidents with most schoolies well-behaved,

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