Queensland is set to introduce tougher lockout laws in February next year, but the proposed legislation change was almost repealed last night when the motion to stop the new legislation failed to pass by a single vote.
The Labor government is set to pass tougher lockout laws on the state, despite Queensland venues reporting a 20% drop in business immediately following the introduction of the state’s last drinks law in July
LNP member of Kawana Jarrod Bleijie put forward the motion to stop the introduction of the laws, which would introduce a Sydney-inspired 1am lockout – but the final tie-breaking vote by speaker Peter Wellington was to keep the proposed laws.
In the motion, Bleijie claimed that the lockouts would hit the tourism industry hard, destroy jobs, without making any different to violent behaviour.
“This House calls on the Palaszczuk Labor government to scrap the introduction of a 1am lockout from 1 February 2017 because it will destroy jobs, destroy our tourism reputation and make no credible difference to violence in our late-night entertainment precincts,” moved the LNP.
Bleijie also called into question Queensland Labor’s choice to bring on hugely pro-lockout Deakin University professor Peter Miller to write their review into the laws – especially given that in 2015 Miller penned an article for The Conversation called ‘Early pub closing times work for Kings Cross—they will work for Queensland too.’
Well about that…
“(Miller) is reviewing the laws that he has suggested,” said Bleijie. “He said to the Labor government, ‘You should have these laws in the state of Queensland’. They give him these laws in the state Queensland and then he wins money for a tender to review those very laws. That is not an independent review.”
Labor member for Stafford Dr Anthony Lynham rebutted that the LNP were “cherry-picking” their data, and that Kings Cross was now “much safer, quieter and cleaner” than it was previously.
The motion was defeated 45-44, with prominent mad hatter Bob Katter predictably voting for some bloody peace and quiet.
Meanwhile last week in Sydney new reporting revealed that violence at The Star has actually gone way up since Sydney’s lockout laws were introduced.