WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following story contains images of deceased persons.
- Tough liquor laws come in from midnight
- Protest over casino exemption
- Bid to cut drunken violence
- Industry fears downturn
Following lock-out laws in Sydney and Newcastle, the state will bring in legislation relating to venue operation and the strength of alcoholic drinks available.
From Friday July 1, alcohol won’t be served after 2am across the state, except in government-designated “safe night precincts”, where it will be sold until 3am.
Rapid intoxication drinks will cease to be served at midnight at all venues across the state. They include:
• shots, shooters, bombs, blasters, test tubes and jelly shots
• drinks with more than 45 millilitres of spirits or liqueur
• pre-mixed drinks over 5% alcohol by volume or more than 2 standard drinks.
The ban will not include cocktails, providing they are:
• listed on a cocktail menu;
• not designed to be consumed rapidly
• not sold for less than the price listed on the cocktail menu.
A second round of legislation will be introduced in February next year. Venues trading until 3am will have to enforce a 1am lockout.
Casinos across Queensland are exempt from these lockouts because the Government considers their licensing laws restrictive enough.
A protest over the casino exemption is planned from 2pm on Sunday outside the Treasury Casino at Reddacliff Place in Brisbane.
The tougher measures were promised by the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk during the election campaign last year, but they largely come on the back of one-punch assaults in the state.
In December 2015, 40-year-old Tenterfield man Trevor Duroux was punched in the back of the head outside the Coolangatta Hotel on the Gold Coast. The blow caused him to collapse and smash his head on the road and he died in hospital ten days later.
Forty-year-old Trevor Duroux died in December 2015 after being punched on a night out on the Gold Coast.
In January this year, 18-year-old Brisbane athlete Cole Miller died the day after an alleged unprovoked attack in Fortitude Valley. Over one thousand people attended his funeral in Brisbane.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath says the measures are supported by the vast majority of Queenslanders.
“Research shows that four in every five Queenslanders support pubs, clubs and bars not being able to serve alcohol beyond 3am,” said Mrs D’Ath.
She pointed to a survey by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) which found more than half of Queenslanders felt the centre of their towns were unsafe on a Saturday night, with 92 per cent saying alcohol was to blame.
“Our package of laws is designed to encourage people to feel safe enough to go at night and enjoy the diversity of Queensland’s entertainment and nightlife options,” she said.
“The opinion of Queenslanders is clear, and the evidence is clear about the benefits laws like these create.”
But the hospitality industry is sure to feel the pinch. Nightclub owner Nick Braban says the second round of laws to come next year will have the most impactl for his business.
“We have a couple of months before the really contentious part of the policy – the 1am lockout – would be implemented,” he told The Brisbane Times.
“We will continue to talk to all stakeholders and try and find a resolution that won’t cost this state jobs, economic activity and most importantly cultural input.”
Patrons and business are continuing to rebel (hyperlink –http://www.keepsydneyopen.com/) against similar laws in Sydney, with petitions calling on the New South Wales Government the rethink their enforced legislation.