Overnight, the Queensland government has passed new lockout laws that will restrict late night trading for pubs and clubs.
Under the new rules, which will come into effect on July 1, venues inside entertainment precincts in the state will see last drinks served at 3:00am, while those outside the entertainment precincts will have last calls at 2.00am.
A 1:00am lockout is also expected to be introduced in February 2017, delayed as part of a comprise with the Opposition.
The Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment bill will also see convicted drug offenders banned from entertainment precincts, which the government has labelled “Safe Night” precincts.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the changes, saying that they were “important issues for Queenslanders”.
“We are committed to curbing alcohol-fuelled violence, but we are also committed to increasing employment and devoting more resources to mental health,” she said.
The laws follow a similar path taken by the New South Wales government, which introduced similar lockout restrictions in 2014 as a response to several one-punch fatalities.
Despite significantly decreasing the number of assaults in the state, local businesses have suffered.
Businessman Matt Barrie recently wrote a scathing op-ed on the issue, and its impact on the “soul of Sydney”. The article not only attracted the attention of many similar thinking Sydneysiders, but that too of the premier.
Read it here.