Published Wednesday, 17 February, 2016 at 09:26 AM
Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, KAP Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter and Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth have agreed to a series of measures to improve employment, health and safety.
“These are important issues for Queenslanders. We are committed to curbing alcohol-fuelled violence, but we are also committed to increasing employment and devoting more resources to mental health,” the Premier said.
“Alcohol-fuelled violence is an important social policy for the Government, and the impact of unemployment and the economic downturn are important social policy issues for us,” Mr Katter said.
“The meaningful discussions we have had with the Government have ensured we have been able to make progress on all these issues,” Mr Knuth said.
Working Queensland Cabinet Committee
Ms Palaszczuk has agreed to the request from Mr Katter and Mr Knuth for the Working Queensland Cabinet Committee to meet in Mount Isa and Charters Towers.
“Senior Ministers and I will meet in Mount Isa with Mr Katter and Charters Towers with Mr Knuth to discuss local projects and gain a better insight into local issues,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We respect the dignity of work and the Working Queensland Cabinet Committee will focus on opportunities to drive economic growth and employment locally.”
Ms Palaszczuk has agreed with Mr Katter and Mr Knuth to prioritise funding for mental health programs when framing the 2016-17 State Budget due on 14 June.
“Rates of suicide in regional Queensland are too high and we welcome a stronger priority for mental health programs in the next Budget,” Mr Katter said.
Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
Mr Katter and Mr Knuth will support the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 based on the following:
1. Drug offenders can be banned from Safe Night Precincts - Extend the powers of courts to impose banning orders on persons convicted of drug offences in Safe Night Precincts. Currently these banning orders only apply to offences of violence. Any changes to these powers will be subject to consultation with stakeholders and would require legislative changes.
2. Existing $8 million Safe Night Precinct funding can be used to assist transition to new liquor laws: To alter the guidelines for the Safe Night grants to allow applications by Safe Night Precinct Local Boards, for assistance to transition to the new liquor laws, including for security.
3. Trading hours for licensed venues will be implemented in a staged approach
- Last drinks to be introduced by July this year as proposed: Firstly, the 2am last drinks will operate in all venues outside of precincts, and 3am last drinks in the precincts, from 1 July 2016.
- Lockouts to be effective from 1 February 2017: Secondly, the lockout for the 15 Safe Night Precincts will start on 1 February 2017. This will give operators in those Precincts sufficient transition time. The Bill will be amended to reflect the proposed commencement dates of the different measures. All other measures in the Bill will also commence from 1 July 2016.
4. Independent review of laws from July 2018: The laws will be independently reviewed after two years from the commencement of the legislation, being 1 July 2016. This review will be prescribed in the Bill. This timeframe will ensure that the laws are reviewed 17 months after all measures have commenced.
Member for Stafford Dr Anthony Lynham said he supports these measures as sensible solutions in achieving a reduction in social harm caused by alcohol and violence.
“This will mean less families grieving for a very small adjustment in our night-time economy,” Dr Lynham said.