Popular country music sisters The McClymonts take part in a safe planking stunt at The Great Western Hotel. It’s CQ’s first celebrity plank.
Popular country music sisters The McClymonts take part in a safe planking stunt at The Great Western Hotel. It’s CQ’s first celebrity plank. FACEBOOK

Plank safely or not at all

THE administrator of Planking CQ has warned people to put their safety first or face being blocked from the group’s fast-growing competition to find the region’s best planker.

With a $50 cash prize and trophy up for grabs, the group’s Facebook website yesterday surged beyond the 1000 supporter mark.

The death of Gladstone’s Acton Beale, 20, who plunged seven storeys to his death from an inner-city Brisbane apartment early Sunday morning, has prompted a warning from authorities about planking, a fad where people are photographed lying face down in unusual public spaces.

Police are urging “plankers” to re-think their actions.

It was clear from checks with hotel owners across Rockhampton yesterday, venues are taking different approaches to managing the practice.

At The Great Western Hotel on Saturday night popular country music performers The McClymonts showed their support posing for a picture with a planker.

The hotel’s manager Carla Wust said the plank was performed under the watchful eye of security.

Ms Wust said it was mid last week when she became aware of the fad.

She said as long as it was done safely she didn’t have a problem.

Not that she’s a fan.

“We only really found out about it on Wednesday night and we’ve had a few people here doing it,” Ms Wust said.

She encouraged anyone considering a plank to let bar staff or security know first and warned the bull statue outside the venue was strictly off limits.

The Criterion Hotel’s Ryan Turnbull had a similar approach.

“It’s harmless fun,” Ryan said.

He said as long as practitioners had respect for the law and for other people, he had no problems with plankers.

Some other venues have distanced themselves from the practice, while others reported it hadn’t occurred at their hotel.

There are concerns alcohol and planking aren’t a good combination.

Will Cordwell, CQ’s Queensland Hoteliers Association spokesman, said once people had alcohol in their system it could affect their sense of balance and judgment.

He said he couldn’t see the attraction to it himself.

“I’m afraid I don’t see the sense in it,” Mr Cordwell said.

The administrator of the Planking CQ website has repeatedly warned people not to do anything dangerous or illegal.

“... as our rules state, we only promote safe and legal planking, do not put yourself at risk to plank, it’s about being creative, not stupid,” the administrator said.

“Repeated upload of dangerous/illegal planking pictures will lead to you being blocked from the page.

“I look at it like driving a car ... done the right way it can be fun and safe, (but) full of alcohol and with undignified risks there will be consequences.

“Don’t blame planking for injuries, blame the stupidity of people that take unnecessary risks.”

The competition closes at the end of June.



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