Queensland’s government is pushing on with its pub and club lockout laws, but critics warn they won’t stop assaults and violent deaths at nightspots.
Labor has renewed its campaign for lockout laws, which will make most venues serve last drinks at 2am, in the wake of Brisbane teen Cole Miller’s death on Monday from an alleged one-punch attack.
But acting Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek says if the government is serious about stamping out violence then it should drop its plan to call last drinks earlier.
He’s urging the government to develop a comprehensive plan like the former Liberal National Party government’s 60-point Safe Night Out Strategy.
That plan featured tougher penalties for drunken offenders, more police on streets and proactive education.
“They’re proposing one simple solution, which is just about hours,” Mr Langbroek said.
Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne has said he doesn’t want the laws to affect existing venues in his far north Queensland electorate.
“Where places … have made an effort to be a good community citizen, I think we have to acknowledge that,” Mr Pyne told the Cairns Post.
Mines and Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said there was too much concern about the proposed laws as many state pubs and clubs didn’t even open past 2am.
He claimed evidence also proved business actually got better for venues in entertainment precincts when they were safer.
“I understand that some communities will simply not even be affected at all by this legislation, other communities will have a small effect,” he said.
“So this fear-mongering campaign just has to stop by the nightclub proponents.”
However, anti-violence foundation Just Let It Go believes lockout laws won’t reduce violence and is planning to present an alternative plan to Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath this week.
“What we understand from research that has been done is that the assaults are occurring after people exit the precincts,” director Simon Turner told the Courier-Mail.
“It’s these spaces where the resources and investments have to be made.”
The parliamentary legal affairs and community safety committee is examining the government’s lockout legislation and is due to report back to parliament on February 8.