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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Palaszczuk Government stands up against alcohol-fuelled violence

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Sunday, November 08, 2015

    Palaszczuk Government stands up against alcohol-fuelled violence

    THE Palaszczuk Government is standing up to alcohol-fuelled violence with a comprehensive package to address the problem across Queensland.

    Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the measures included a state-wide call for last drinks at 2am.

    However Safe Night Precinct boards would have the option of applying for approval of an extended 3am last drinks model, conditional on a 1am one-way-door policy.

    “We are standing up against alcohol-fuelled violence in our community,” Mrs D’Ath said.

    “Personal safety must be paramount. This government made a commitment at the last election to the people of Queensland to keep their loved ones safe when they went out at night, and this comprehensive package is designed to do just that.

    “One in six Queenslanders has been the victim of alcohol-fuelled violence and two-thirds of Queenslanders consider the city or centre of their town unsafe on a Saturday night.

    “About 30,000 hospitalisations take place each year due to alcohol consumption."

    “The community is telling us it’s time to act, to keep people safe,” she said.

    “This is a comprehensive package that gets the balance right.

    “It allows our licensed venues to continue to trade under their existing hours so people can enjoy Queensland’s entertainment and nightlife at the same time as dealing with alcohol-fuelled harm in the early hours by calling last drinks at 2am.”

    The measures include:

    • Last drinks at 2am State-wide.
    • Safe Night Precinct local boards being able to apply for approval for venues to continue selling alcohol until 3am, provided they have a 1am one-way-door policy.
    • All venues throughout the State being able to remain open beyond 2am (or 3am in approved Safe Night Precincts) to serve food, non-alcohol beverages and to provide entertainment.
    • Banning the sale and supply of high-alcohol content and rapid consumption drinks, such as shots, after midnight.

     Mrs D’Ath said the policy arose from significant consultation.

    “These reforms put the onus on Safe Night Precincts to choose the option that best suits them by applying for either a 3am last drinks model with a one-way-door from 1am, or to maintain the state-wide call for last drinks at 2am,” Mrs D’Ath said.

    “The Palaszczuk Government’s response to alcohol-fuelled violence has always been about calling last drinks, not shutting venue doors.

    “We want to encourage growth and new business in our entertainment districts and we know that when Queenslanders feel safer, more people will want to go out and enjoy our nightlife. This has been the experience in Newcastle and I am confident it will be the experience in Queensland, too."

    Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham has been a champion for alcohol fuelled violence reform, because of his experiences as a surgeon.

    “Based on the Newcastle experience, we should see a reduction in Emergency Department admissions on Friday and Saturday nights, due to assaults dropping by up to 30%,” Dr Lynham said.

    “Fewer assaults through emergency departments means our hospital staff can focus on other emergencies.

    “What’s more, fewer alcohol-related assaults on Friday and Saturday nights frees up operating theatres on Monday mornings for other surgeries, to reduce waiting lists.

    “We cannot legislate against poor choices but we can make Queensland’s nightlife safer for everyone by promoting a responsible drinking culture.

    “The evidence overwhelmingly tells us that even modest changes to trading hours helps to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence.”

    The legislation will be introduced into Parliament this week.