By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
On Sunday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and senior MPs beseeched their colleagues to support the lockout legislation that will be debated in state Parliament this week.
The Tackling Alcohol Fuel Violence Amendment Bill 2015 intends to set last drinks at 2am, and the banning of high-alcohol/rapid consumption drinks after midnight. It would also allow for venues to apply for an extension to sell alcohol until 3am, if they impose a 1am lockout policy.
With the Opposition stating it would not support the legislation, the Premier held a press conference yesterday, entreating MPs to support the bill.
“The community wants these laws. The community knows there is too much tragedy, too much injury and too much violence,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“These laws are for young Queenslanders.
“These are laws for police and ambulance officers on the front line who are putting themselves on the line.
“These are laws for doctors and nurses who have put too many faces back together.
“These laws are for our welfare services like The Salvation Army who have to put too many lives back together.
“The laws before the Parliament this week are in response to the community, not sectional interests or people who want to freeze our laws. Status quo is not good enough.
“Previous Governments have identified the problem and offered measures to try to curb the violence. We are committing to strengthen the protection.”
Our Nightlife Queensland Secretary Nick Braban told TheShout that he agreed MPs should think about young Queenslanders when they vote, but for very different reasons to those suggested by Palaszczuk.
“The Premier is asking MPs to think about the kids when they vote,” Braban told TheShout. “We think that MPs need to think about the kids who will end up going to unsupervised parties in the suburbs; and about the kids who will have to wait 30 minutes for an ambulance turn up to these place if they are assaulted or overdose.
“MPs should also think about the 6000 kids who will lose their jobs and struggle to pay their bills, struggle to finish their degrees or school, all thanks to the job losses created by this policy.
“Sadly this has become not about the kids but about saving the Premier’s job, rather than about her constituents and that’s really disappointing,” Braban added.