Surgeon John Crozier, from the Alliance for Action on Alcohol, urged the Queensland MPs to implement the lockout laws as proposed by the Queensland government. He believes that limiting the licencing hours for nightclubs, one of the proposed changes under the new lockout laws, can help in reducing the number of alcohol-related violence in Queensland.
The opinions of the MPs are divided over the norms of the lockout laws. The new laws seek to limit the time for serving the last drinks at 2 am except in the Safe Night Precincts, where drinks can be served till 3 am, but with a 1 am lockout.
However, the prospects of the proposed laws being implemented seems bleak as the minority Labor government hasn’t quite succeeded in winning over the crossbench MPs, whose support is required to fight back the Opposition.
The Yahoo News reported that Katter party leader Robbie Katter is still unsure as to how the new regulations would impact the tourism-dependent regional economy. A parliamentary committee has failed to reach an agreement on the proposed reforms. It has suggested that, even if the laws are passed, they should be subject to an 18-month trial to ensure they are effective in cutting down the violence.
The government intends to debate and pass the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill when the parliament resumes next.
Crozier, who is the chair of the National Trauma Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, believes Queensland will be much safer if the laws are passed.
“The Government has moved in the right direction with a range of proven measures and I think they are to be commended in that regard,” he told 612 ABC Brisbane. “It’s a lengthy report with some very good considerations and very reliable witness evidence presented. There are decades of tragic evidence of the range of harm in Queensland.”
He added that the laws and restrictions are not draconian and since they have already proven to work elsewhere, it will most likely work in Queensland as well.