Qld launches drink-safe precincts

Jay Cronan

DRINK-safe precincts in Queensland will be in place over the summer holiday period in an extended attempt to curb alcohol-related violence.

The Drink Safe Precinct initiative was introduced in December 2010 following a parliamentary inquiry into alcohol-related violence in Queensland.

The party hot spots of the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Townsville were selected for a trial, which involved increased police resources, alcohol and drug support services and better transport options.

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announced on Tuesday the program, originally scheduled to finish in November, would be extended until February 2013.

According to 2011 data from Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit, 30% of 18 to 24-year-olds who ended up in an emergency department were affected by alcohol.

Out of all the alcohol-related injuries recorded in emergency departments in Queensland, 40% were assaults and assaults accounted for more than half of the injuries from licensed venues.

Mr Bleijie said while the Drink Safe Precinct trial was working to reduce alcohol-related violence, the Government needed to evaluate the findings in further detail.

"The two-year DSP trial was due to conclude in November this year but we have listened to industry and decided to extend the trial by three months," Mr Bleijie said.

"Pulling up stumps on the eve of one of the busiest trading periods of the year simply didn't make sense."

The scheme will now run over the busy Schoolies period, Christmas and New Year's Eve.

The trial will be reviewed in November.

Mr Bleijie said he would also put forward a proposal to Cabinet regarding earlier lock-outs and trading hours at pubs and clubs in Queensland.

The move to extend the policy comes after the tragic and senseless death of Thomas Kelly in Kings Cross in Sydney recently.

Mr Kelly was king hit on a footpath on the nightclub strip and died after sustaining massive head injuries.

Topics:  alcohol alcohol fuelled violence

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