PublishedWed, Feb 17, 2016, 01:26
- State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has reportedly secured enough votes for her party's licensing bill to pass today.
Queensland is set to receive 2 AM "last drinks" across the state in July, with lockouts to follow.
Similar to Sydney's controversial restrictions, "The Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill" proposed by the QLD Labor government will mean a statewide last drinks time of 2 AM, or 3 AM in designated entertainment precincts, effective from July this year. A 1 AM lockout in these precincts—meaning nobody can legally enter or re-enter a venue after this time—will also be implemented in February 2017. The first independent review of the laws is scheduled for July 2018.
With the Liberal National Party Opposition sticking to their anti-lockout stance, support from independents has been crucial for the bill's success. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced today that a deal had been struck with two Katter's Australian Party MPs, giving the bill one more supporting vote than is required for it to pass.
Community organisation Our Nightlife Queensland responded to the outcome via Facebook, saying that "once again, small business has been sold out for big interests" and that "while we all agree that drug use, violence and intoxication are a terrible mix, we stand by our position that this is punishing 99.99% of patrons because the Government cannot effectively target the 0.01% of dickheads, thugs, perpetrators terrorising our streets at night."
The news follows a fortnight in which debate over Sydney's lockouts erupted across social and mainstream media. A rally is being held this Sunday in opposition to the laws under the Keep Sydney Open banner which is poised to be the largest-scale protest since the restrictions were first announced in January 2014. The Victorian state government and Liberal Opposition have both spoken out against the prohibitive measures, with Minister for Liquor Regulation Jane Garrett calling Melbourne's 2008 lockout trial "a disaster for the fabric of our social and cultural identity."