State Development Minister Anthony Lynham and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing planned lockout laws would not be introduced.
State Development Minister Anthony Lynham and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing planned lockout laws would not be introduced. Geoff Egan

Last drinks for Queensland's lockout laws

PLANNED lockout laws have been scrapped just days before they were due to come into effect.

Queensland cabinet on Monday decided to replace planned 1am lockout with ID scanners and restrictions on how many times bars can use extended service hour permits.

But the Opposition said the Government was adopting LNP policy by introducing ID scanners.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the lockout laws, due to start next week, would be "removed from legislation" but the reduction of alcohol service hours from 5am to 3am would remain.

"All the evidence in Australia and around the world suggests the most effective measure to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence is to reduce the number of hours that alcohol is served after midnight," she said.

All venues in designated "safe night out precincts" that stay open after midnight will have to install an ID scanner. The scanner will be able to identify people banned from the precincts so bouncers or police can prevent them entering bars.

But LNP leader Tim Nicholls said the LNP had introduced ID scanners but the laws had not been enforced. He said he believed the government's about-face on the issue was to stop a voter backlash in an election year.

Ms Palaszczuk said a report from Deakin University found "systematic and widespread use of extended trading permits". The research found alcohol was still available in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley after 3am on every weekend since the laws were introduced.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said bars had been using the extended service hour permits to "game the system".

Ms D'Ath said the permits were designed to allow bars to celebrate "special occasions" such as New Year's.

"What the report has shown us is for the first six months of the initiative the system has been gamed by some licensed venues in precincts," she said.

The number of permits will be reduced from 12 to six and the criteria to use the permits will be changed.

"We have made it clear we want the reduced alcohol hours operating effectively across this state. That cannot happen if these venues continue to abuse this system and take advantage of it," Ms D'Ath said.

State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said lockouts were "supplementary" to reducing the service of alcohol from 5am to 3am.

Before being elected Dr Lynham was a facial surgeon who campaigned for reducing late night service of alcohol. Reducing late night assaults was the reason he entered politics.

Under current laws last drinks are served at 3am and must be finished before 3.30am. But the operator does not have to close at that time.

ARM NEWSDESK



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