Premier says new Qld lockout laws will save lives

Annastacia Palaszczuk has had a win with lockout laws passing Parliament.
Annastacia Palaszczuk has had a win with lockout laws passing Parliament.

QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says her controversial liquor lockout laws will save lives and encourage more patronage in safer precincts.

The  Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Amendment Bill passed in State Parliament on Thursday morning.

The law follows tragic coward punch deaths in Queensland, including that of former Sunshine Coast teen Cole Miller.

Ms Palaszczuk said the Bill was an historic step forward for reducing alcohol fuelled violence.

"The evidence is clear: reduced trading hours leads to reduced violence, and that's what this Bill delivers," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Doing nothing is not an option. I've spoken to countless doctors, nurses, paramedics, police, parents and grandparents who have urged me to take action to curb alcohol fuelled violence.

"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.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath said the legislation would mean Queensland venues will call last drinks at 2am across the state from July 1.

She said Safe Night Precincts - including high-traffic areas such as Fortitude Valley, Surfers Paradise, Cairns and Bundaberg - will call last drinks at 3am, with a 1am lockout to be imposed from February 1, 2017.

"This is to allow Safe Night Precincts and venues time to transition to their preferred operating model for the precinct," Mrs D'Ath said.

"We want to encourage safer precincts which will in turn encourage more patronage.

"This is about putting the safety of our kids and all patrons first. It is about driving cultural change and we will continue to work with the community and stakeholders to deliver these important reforms."

Mrs D'Ath said the laws will be independently reviewed after two years in July, 2018.

State Development Minister and former maxillofacial surgeon Dr Anthony Lynham said the legislation was a long time coming for campaigners for action on alcohol fuelled violence.

"The passage of this legislation is not just the culmination of work by the Government, but the culmination of years of advocacy by medical professionals, community groups and academics," Dr Lynham said.

"These laws are evidence-based laws that will have a major impact on alcohol fuelled violence."

Topics:  alcohol clubs pubs queensland violence

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