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Lockout laws force people to be angry, bored on streets

Michael Blann

A FORMER Stanthorpe woman says the government's proposed new lockout and last-drinks laws could lead to trouble because more people would be angry and bored on the streets.

Strippers, patrons, DJs, security guards and bartenders are among those who have made a submission to a parliamentary committee objecting to the government's proposed alcohol service restrictions.

Shardae Ros, who used to live in Stanthorpe but now lives in Brisbane, said she liked to go out in the city and was concerned the laws, if introduced, would cause people to drink more before going out and that they would end up being more out of control.

"When did we become a country that needed to be constantly babied?" she wrote.

"You can't monitor everyone and their personalities."

She said strict bans on alcohol were due to a minority of the population.

Her submission was one of more than 100 opposing the Queensland Government's proposed changes that include ending the service of alcohol at 2am and stopping the sale of high-alcohol-content and rapid-consumption drinks from midnight.

Venues in safe night precincts would be allowed to sell alcohol until 3am but would have to enforce a 1am lockout.

In a submission to the legal affairs and community safety parliamentary committee, Edward Fricker, a former night worker, said lockout laws would not solve the problem. He said violence usually started from people being refused entry or was between people who already knew each other.

A Queensland stripper said it would destroy her income because it was the busiest time for their club.

But NSW man Stephen Pate said he had seen the positive impacts of similar laws introduced in NSW and supported the Queensland Government proposal.

Following the introduction of 10pm bottle shop closures, 1.30am lockouts and no drinks being sold after 3am, Mr Pate said there was an "overwhelmingly positive change" in Sydney's inner-city atmosphere late at night.

He also said studies showed that reducing alcohol service and trading hours was one of the most effective measures for combating violence.

Submissions closed on December 23 and the committee is due to report to Parliament by February 8.

PROPOSED CHANGES:

 Venues in safe night precincts could end alcohol service at 3am

 Alcohol service will end at 2am at all other Queensland venues

 Lockout at 1am for all venues in safe night precincts

 No high-alcohol or rapid-consumption drinks after midnight

 Licensees able to apply for extended trading hours up to 5am 12 times a year

 Adult entertainment venues able to remain open past 3am but not serve drinks from then

 Lockouts and reduced trading hours do not apply for casinos and airports

Topics:  opposition stanthorpe warwick


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