Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the debate on Queensland’s proposed lockout laws won’t be postponed and will begin next week because the laws “are too important”.
As Fairfax Media reports, Ms Palaszczuk says debate on alcohol-fuelled violence legislation will kick off despite some resistance from the cross-bench and opposition.
Ms Palaszczuk has ruled out the idea of delaying the debate to allow for more time to convince two undecided Katter’s Australian Party MPs that the laws are a good idea.
“I don’t think we need to postpone them,” she said. “The debate can begin. The debate will commence next week, I’m adamant about that… These laws are too important.”
Yesterday, the bipartisan Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee couldn’t agree on whether or not to pass Queensland’s proposed lockout laws, which are some of the toughest drinking laws to be proposed in Australia, including 2am last drinks in some areas.
Opposition MPs on the committee have expressed concerns that the laws won’t have “the desired outcomes of reducing alcohol-fuelled violence in all its forms” across Queensland. The committee did agree, however, that if the laws are implemented, a review should be held 18 months after they kick in.
Ms Palaszczuk has said she’s disappointed with opposition to the lockout law legislation. “As a community we need to do something,” she said. “We must do something. I don’t want to see another tragedy.
“I don’t want to see another death of a young person because we as a government and we as a community failed to step up to the plate and take decisive action.”
Queensland Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said the Liberal National Party is yet to be convinced. “People presenting to emergency departments are intoxicated, not only with alcohol but with drugs, and a lot of those people have actually put themselves in that state out in the suburbs, in the house parties, or just in a backyard party somewhere around the state,” he said.
“So, we’ve got a situation here where this government has not been able to provide the evidence quite clearly to indicate that Queenslanders are going to be safer as a consequence of this because they are dealing with one small part of the problem, not the whole problem.”
Ms Palaszczuk’s refusal to postpone Queensland’s lockout law debate comes as New South Wales Premier Mike Baird has faced backlash from artists, industry figures and punters over a lengthy Facebook post (below) in which he attempts to justify his state’s lockout laws.
Earlier this month, Queensland Liberal MP Teresa Gambaro started a Change.org petition to protest the Queensland Labor Government’s lockout legislation. The petition has almost 9,000 signatures at the time of writing.