Airlie punch victim says new laws won't make a difference
A FORMER Mackay man, who was coward punched while partying in Airlie Beach, says the state government's proposed laws to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence will not work.
Strippers, patrons, DJs, security guards and bartenders are among those who have made a submission to a parliamentary committee and objected to the government's proposals to force licensed venues to stop serving alcohol at 2am and imposing a 1am lockout rule for venues in safe night precincts, which includes the Mackay CBD and Airlie Beach.
Zac Lowth, who used to live in Mackay but is currently living in London, said the proposed laws would not have made a difference if they were enforced on the night he was hit.
He said he looked like someone the culprits were after and that he and they were sober at the time.
"Queensland may have a problem with normalised aggression and violence, but I can't see how what time it is plays a part," he wrote.
"Do not blame alcohol for someone's actions."
Airlie Beach security guard Vania Kelemete also made a submission saying the trouble usually started at busy times when there was not enough transport available for patrons to get home.
He said the changes to lockout times would cause him to lose about 22 hours of a work a week.
Genevieve Bange, who is training to become a manager at Airlie Beach nightclub Mama Africa, said banning particular drinks would not help, but restricting the amount could.
These submissions was among more than 100 opposing the Queensland Government's proposed changes that include ending the service of alcohol at 2am and stopping the sale of high alcohol content and rapid consumption drinks from midnight.
Venues in safe night precincts would be allowed to sell alcohol until 3am but would have to enforce a 1am lockout.
In a submission to the legal affairs and community safety parliamentary committee, NSW man Stephen Pate said he had seen the positive impacts of similar laws introduced in NSW and supported the Queensland Government proposal.
Following the introduction of 10pm bottle shop closures, 1.30am lockouts and no drinks being sold after 3am, Mr Pate said there was an "overwhelmingly positive change" in Sydney's inner-city atmosphere late at night.
He also said studies showed that reducing alcohol service and trading hours was one of the most effective measures for combating violence.
Submissions closed on December 23 and the committee is due to report to Parliament by February 8.
Venues in safe night precincts could end alcohol service at 3am
Alcohol service will end at 2am at all other Queensland venues
Lockout at 1am for all venues in safe night precincts
No high alcohol or rapid consumption drinks after midnight
Licensees able to apply for extended trading hours up to 5am 12 times a year
Adult entertainment venues able to remain open past 3am but not serve drinks from then
Lockouts and reduced trading hours do not apply for casinos and airports