“The Queensland government must reject the proposal to force pubs and clubs to shut their doors at 3am,” said Simon Breheny, Editor of FreedomWatch at free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.
Queensland’s Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie commissioned an expert panel to assess the state’s regulation of licenced venues. The panel has now recommended that all Queensland licenced venues, except for casinos which are licenced to trade 24 hours, be forced to stop serving customers from 3am.
“The proposed shutdown is a dramatic restriction on the freedom of individuals to go out for a drink, and it restricts the ability of businesses to attract customers,” said Mr Breheny.
“These changes target innocent, law-abiding people who want to enjoy themselves, and hard-working small business operators who are trying to earn a living,” said Mr Breheny.
“Similar policies implemented in other Australian capital cities have been spectacular failures. Melbourne’s 2am lockout was abandoned after a disastrous trial – it actually led to an increase in late night violence, not a decrease,” said Mr Breheny.
“These policies do not address the problem of late night street violence. In attempts to ‘beat the buzzer’ patrons often load up on shots immediately prior to the curfew. The problem is exacerbated because patrons flood out onto the street at the same time, increasing the risk of conflict between groups of young people,” said Mr Breheny.
“With the shutdown applying to pubs and clubs, not the 24 hour casinos, individuals can simply move down the road for a drink after 3am, rendering the policy impotent,” said Mr Breheny.
“Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie should immediately reject this proposal,” Mr Breheny said.
For media and comment: Simon Breheny, Editor, FreedomWatch, 0400 967 382, [email protected].