Queensland rejects lockout laws

By Andy Young, TheShout

The Queensland Government has voted against the introduction of 1am lockouts, which were part of the second phase of liquor reforms to be introduced on 1 February.

Cabinet Ministers voted after an interim report into the first six months of the restrictions the Government put in place on July 1 last year. The report found that while there was no noticeable reduction in alcohol-related assaults, the number of common assaults and ambulance call outs between 8pm and 6am had continued its downward trend. The report went on to suggest that evidence points to lockouts being unlikely to change those downward trends.

The restrictions introduced last year saw the cessation of drinks at 3am for venues in entertainment areas as well as the banning of rapid consumption drinks after midnight.

Although the lockouts will not now be introduced, mandatory ID scanning to enter venues after midnight will be introduced and the number of allowable permits to serve drinks after 3am will be reduced from 12 to six.

Following the vote Queensland’s Attorney-General, Yvette D’ath, angrily dismissed comments from the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, with Michael Thorn telling the ABC he had “a degree of confidence” that political donations from the alcohol industry had influenced the vote, adding he had heard MPs were “concerned that they would no longer get the $500 cheque from their local pub”.

D’ath said she found Thorn’s comments “quite offensive and extraordinary”.

“I understand that he is someone who’s extremely passionate about seeing the Government and Parliament take action against our culture of violence, as we all are,” D’ath said.

“But I’m not aware of any Member of Parliament who’s made statements along these lines or any claims around donations.”

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