By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
The Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Amendment Bill is now in effect in Queensland, with licensed premises now unable to serve alcohol after 2am, state-wide.
The only exception is made for designated Safe Night Precincts, such as Fortitude Valley, Surfers Paradise and Cairns, which can serve alcohol until 3am. The legislation also requires that the sale of shots and other ‘rapid-consumption’ alcoholic drinks be banned after midnight. Takeaway alcohol sales are also not permitted after 10pm.
The actual lockout component of the legislation will not take effect until 1 February 2017, when a 1am lockout will be imposed on all licensed premises.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk recently stated that the curbed trading hours would see a reduction in alcohol-related violent incidences.
“I want Queenslanders and visitors to our state to go out and enjoy our state’s vibrant nightlife but I also want them to return home safely to their families and loved ones,” she said.
Nick Braban from Our Nightlife Queensland told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that many smaller venues would be adversely affected by the new legislation.
"These are small businesses that struggle to pay the rent week to week – they're not enormous profit-making machines," he said.
"Confidence is going to be down, people are going to wonder if it's worth being in business any more."
The four casinos in Queensland – Jupiters, The Reef, The Ville Resort and Treasury Casino – are exempt from the lockout laws.