The Queensland Government Scraps Proposed Lockout Laws

The Queensland Government has confirmed that it will be scrapping its proposed 1am lockout laws, which caused a serious stir last year.

Although the decision had been considered vetoed for some days now, the official call was made during Monday’s Cabinet meeting. The 1am lockout will be scrapped in favour of I.D. scanners, which will be mandated across all venues from July 1st.

The decision came after an interim report that concluded there had been no “obvious reduction” in alcohol-related violence after six months of liquor restrictions. The laws, introduced in July 2016, prohibited the sale of drinks after 2am or 3am in nightclub precincts like Fortitude Valley. Shots, doubles and pre-mixed drinks with more than 5 per cent alcohol were also banned after midnight, an even stricter ruling than those which have affected much of Sydney’s nightlife.

The report found, “The current evidence suggests the introduction of lockouts is not likely to significantly change current trends (expect for pre-drinking).”

The Cabinet’s decision is as follows:

  • number of one-off permits to allow trading until 5am would be cut from 12 to six in SNPs
  • use would be limited “special events” to be defined by a criteria approved by the Government, rather than 5am trading being “business as usual”
  • State-wide end of alcohol service at 2am unless the venue is in a Safe Night Precinct (SNP)
  • 3am last drinks in Safe Night Precincts
  • ban on the sale of rapid intoxication, high alcohol-content drinks after midnight; and enforce ID scanners from 1 July 2017 in SNP and enforce banning orders.

Hopefully, the research done in Queensland will trickle down to the NSW government, who have announced an insulting relaxation of Sydney’s lockout laws by 30 minutes. The #KeepSydneyOpen movement were set to protest this motion last week, but following a threat of legal action, have moved the “bigger, louder and stronger” rally to Saturday, 18th February.

Read our interview with Queensland organisation Right To A Good Night.

Image: Yahoo Australia