The Parliamentary Enquiry into Alcohol-Related Violence delivered its report to Parliament on 18th March 2010. The Government’s response is due to be tabled in Parliament on 31st August. A joint press release from the Premier and the Minister responsible for liquor licensing, dated 29th August, indicates the Government’s position on a number of key issues. Industry stakeholders were taken through the major elements of the response at a meeting on 30th August.
No Change to Lockout or Trading Hours
There will be no immediate change to the lockout or trading hours regime. The Law Justice and Safety Committee (LJSC) recommended:
- Bringing the lockout forward to 2am
- An overall reduction in trading hours
- the introdcution of a two tiered regime whereby venues in designated entertainment precincts would be permitted to trade later than those venues outside the precincts
- A reduction in the permitted trading hours for bottleshops
These recommendations contradicted the findings of the LJSC enquiry, which found no correlation between extended trading hours and alcohol-related violence.
Liquor & Gaming Specialists, on behalf of a number of liquor accords, made a submission to Parliament arguing against any reduction in trading hours, in the absence of any hard data showing this would reduce problems associated with alcohol. We were not alone in our opposition to this recommendation with support coming from other accords, industry bodies and from a number of community groups.
We welcome the Government’s decision to resist tampering with trading hours to please the vocal minority and we, along with all responsible licensees, are committed to continuing to work with all stakeholders to reduce the social impact of alcohol.
Drink Safe Precincts
The Drink Safe Precincts (DSPs) will be trialled in Fortitude Valley, Gold Coast and Townsville. These precincts will have more police and support services, supervised taxi zones, safe zones and a coordinated management strategy similar to those in place for major sporting events and concerts. We believe a structured approach to the management of these high density areas is a logical step in the evolution of the Queensland licensed hospitality industry.
More police on the street, providing a visible deterrent and clamping down on troublemakers, was demonstrated as a successful counter-measure to alchol-related violence during Operation Merit. However, we hope any increase in arrests and convictions, resulting from greater numbers of police on the street, will not be used as an argument for further restrictions on licensees in the future.
Of the 68 recommendation contained in the LJSC report, 58 have received a positive response. Follow this link to download the Queensland Government’s Response to the Law Justice and Safety Committee’ final report into alcohol-related violence.