Schoolies hotel security stoush causing headaches
SCHOOLIES festival security plans are up in the air at two major accommodation towers following a falling-out between the bodies corporate and Schoolies.com organisers.
Just four days out from the festival, the body corporate organisation at Hilton Surfers Paradise and Circle on Cavill said it will not be funding an additional $120,000 for security as advertised by booking provider Schoolies.com.
Members of 3113 Surfers Paradise Boulevard body corporate (representing Hilton owners) and Circle on Cavill have argued they should not be required to pay the fees for security given they were not the ones to make guarantees of "comprehensive security arrangements at Schoolies.com properties" advertised on the official Schoolies.com site.
Body corporate members also argue they did not organise or have any say in the Schoolies.com parties that are to be held on the premises, nor would all of them be renting to school leavers over the Schoolies festival.
Despite previous attempts to resolve the matter, the body corporate chairman for Hilton Residences, Alan Sparks, said the issue had escalated with both the booking agents and the bodies corporate refusing to cover the additional cost.
"The body corporate position is that we are not responsible for the measures needed to manage the tenants they let the apartments to, under their management and in particular over the Schoolies period," Mr Sparks said.
Previously Schoolies.com has provided $10,000 for security at Hilton but the quotes to cover security concerns comprehensively run to $90,000.
At Circle on Cavill the Mantra group will be contributing to the security, however the body corporate has failed to come to an agreement with the outside agents to cover the additional $40,000 quoted.
Mr Sparks said the body corporate had taken steps to pursue the matter of claims about providing security with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
"The situation has gotten ridiculous," he said
"The costs to cover security have escalated. Every year things get bigger and bigger.
"The risk is first and foremost obviously that these kids are having a good time and are highly excited. I can tell you the damage that they cause in the buildings over the years is extensive.
"Some of the activities like climbing from balcony to balcony have proven to be life threatening.
"It should be the responsibility of the letting agent to pay for these costs because they are the people putting these people into the apartments.
"The body corporate has taken the view that they are not going to fund it."
Schoolies.com chief Matt Lloyd said there was an existing levy passed on to the letting agents for security, but not all rooms in the towers were booked through Schoolies.com, leaving a security funding shortfall.
"I can tell you we do contribute toward security, really obviously there is a certain level of extra security required over Schoolies.
"With a majority of our bookings a security levy is collected and forwarded to the appropriate body.
"The issue that arises is when an apartment might have schoolies staying in them through something like Airbnb, which will not make them contribute toward security.
"There will definitely be additional security. How much extra I really won't know.
"I have not been advised of any changes to security arrangements. If changes are made we will amend the website accordingly."
The Hilton Surfers Paradise declined to comment.