Clare Armstrong and AAP
June 27, 2016
Lockout laws: Activists protest July 1 changes
NIGHTCLUB owners, patrons and politicians have marched on Brisbane to protest Queensland’s new licensing laws which start to take effect from Friday.
Some 300 protesters, who were addressed by the likes of opposition frontbencher Jarrod Bleijie and Greens’ Senate candidate Andrew Bartlett, attended a rally outside the Brisbane casino on Sunday before embarking on a march through the CBD streets.
Protesters carried placards that read “Welcome To The Nanny State” and “Anna just killed the dancefloor”, referring to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Labor government’s new licensing laws.
Venues will have to stop serving drinks from 2am or, if they are located within a designated “safe night” precinct, the cut-off will be 3am.
Also under the new laws, shots, shooters, drinks containing more than 45ml of spirit or liquor and pre-mixed drinks with more than five per cent alcohol content, will be banned after midnight. A 1am lockout will not be activated until February.
Mr Bleijie estimated about 6000 “young Queenslanders” will lose their jobs when the lockout laws come into effect.
“It is a policy, not based on research, it’s a policy based on politics,” he told reporters.
Protesters gather outside the Treasury Casino.
“You need a strategy which educates young people about the dangers of excessive drugs and alcohol consumption and that’s not happening at the moment.” Event organiser Nick Braban, who is also the president of the Valley Liquor Accord, remains hopeful the Labor government will at least drop the lockout law.
He added that for alcohol-fuelled violence to be reigned in, magistrates need to do their part and start handing out tougher sentences.
“We’ve got time before to chip away before the lockout comes in … It’s a population control measure but we are talking about one in the morning when the maximum number of people are out,” he told AAP.
“We want zero tolerance and when people do the wrong thing we need to throw the book at them.
“Magistrates are a bit disconnected from the community at the moment and the sentences they hand out for violence are not commensurate with the pain the industry has been put through.” Mr Bartlett said it was wrong that the night-time activity was being “steered” towards casinos that are exempt from lockout laws.
EARLIER: Crowds of people are gathering in the Brisbane CBD for a protest against Queensland’s forthcoming lockout laws.
Protesters are gathering in Reddacliff Place where activists are speaking out against the laws due to come into effect on Friday.
Hundreds of people have gathered in front of the Treasury Casino, a venue that will be excluded from the proposed new restrictions.
Andrew Bartlett, Senate candidate for The Greens said casinos should not be given a “free kick”.
“Lockout laws will not hurt the alcohol industry but will hurt many small businesses that are part of our night-time economy and culture, whilst giving an extra boost to casinos and gambling culture,” he said.
Tyson Koh, campaign manager for Keep Sydney Open got the rally going using the recent experiences of the city as examples of the damage to live music and venues caused by NSW laws.
“This is just the beginning, we are starting a very important, long and arduous process here,” he said.
Opposition frontbencher Jarrod Bleijie said the Government should not punish the majority of people for the sins of a few.
“We see the issues of alcohol fuelled violence and Palaszczuk has just taken a sledgehammer to the industry,” he said.
“This will end 6000 jobs in Queensland,” said Mr Bleijie.