Lockouts fail to solve problem: Clubs boss
THE President of Clubs Australia and Chairman of Clubs NSW, who was on the Sunshine Coast yesterday, says the 1am lockout laws will not solve alcohol-fuelled violence.
Peter Newell was at the Coolum Surf Club yesterday morning for a breakfast conference on corporate governance.
He said while he had "enormous sympathy" for victims of one-punch attacks like former Sunshine Coast teen Cole Miller, early lockouts were not the "be-all-and-end-all" to curbing the attacks.
"It's not solving the problem, it's just moving it around," Mr Newell said.
"What's happening in particular are these people are getting fuelled up before they come into town.
"They come in with the express purpose of bashing someone.
"If someone is going to get himself three parts shot elsewhere and has an intent, then it's not solving the problem.
"There are definitely other issues to look at."
Mr Newell said more police was a key part of fixing the issue.
"There needs to be a greater police presence in those Fortitude Valley and Kings Cross areas," he said.
"I think there needs to be a much wider perspective than just lockout laws.
"Drugs is one, where drugs and alcohol intersect, there seems to be an almighty ice epidemic in New South Wales. I'm sure it's the same in Queensland."
He said if the lockout laws were introduced even in a modified way they would need to be accompanied by other measures to succeed.
"The feeling seems to be that a 3am closing time is not the issue. It's the lockout at 1am which is causing the angst," he said.
Coolum Surf Club general manager Mal Wright said that while the lockout laws would not affect the surf club, which closes at midnight on weekends, his personal view was that the laws would damage businesses around the state.
"I really think the Government underestimates how much it's going to affect a lot of businesses in Queensland," he said.
"They've underestimated how many employees are going to be losing their jobs because of it, uni students, backpackers, just general Aussies that rely on the late-night trade."
He said while there was no simple solution, lockouts would harm tourism and Australia's image as a global city.
"There might need to be tighter regulations after hours but the lockouts have a very negative connotation in that 'we're closing for business after a certain time'," he said.
"You go all around the world and these places are open 24 hours it's not until 2am or 3am, it's anytime you want."
The lockout legislation, due to be debated in parliament this week, will introduce a 2am "last drinks" around the state, but would allow venues in nightlife precincts to serve last drinks at 3am if they complied with a 1am lockout.
A Galaxy poll released yesterday found 57% of those surveyed supported the legislation.
Galaxy poll: lockout laws
- 57% support.
- 13% against.
- 30% would like measures tested first.