Hundreds Protest Lockout Laws At ‘Keep Queensland Open’ Rally

Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of Brisbane today, to rally against the Queensland Labour Government’s new lockout laws and last drinks legislation, which will see the state hit with Sydney-style restrictions beginning on 1st July.

As AAP reports, an estimated 300 people gathered this afternoon outside Brisbane’s Treasury Casino — a venue which will be except from 2am last drinks regulations when they kick off next Friday. The crowd then marched through the Brisbane CBD, carrying banners and pumping music.

Liberal MP Jarrod Blejie spoke at the rally, telling protestors that around 6000 “young Queenslanders” will lose their jobs when the lockout laws come into effect.

“It is a policy, not based on research, it’s a policy based on politics,” he told reporters at the rally. “You need a strategy which educates young people about the dangers of excessive drugs and alcohol consumption and that’s not happening at the moment.”

Following the implementation of Queensland’s new 2am drinks cutoff on 1st July (which will be 3am for some venues in entertainment precincts), the state’s 1am lockout laws are set to kick off in February, 2017.

Keep Queensland Open event organiser Nick Braban, who is also President of the Valley Liquor Accord, says he’s still hopeful that Labour will at least drop their lockout laws before their planned implementation next year.

“We’ve got time before to chip away before the lockout comes in… It’s a population control measure but we are talking about one in the morning when the maximum number of people are out,” Braban says.

“We want zero tolerance, and when people do the wrong thing we need to throw the book at them. Magistrates are a bit disconnected from the community at the moment and the sentences they hand out for violence are not commensurate with the pain the industry has been put through.”

The new laws developed by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Labor Government will also see shots, shooters and drinks containing more than 45mL of spirit or liquor banned after midnight, with the same restriction for pre-mixed drinks with more than five per cent alcohol content.

Ahead of Queensland’s 2am last drinks cutoff coming into action next Friday, a bunch of Brisbane venues are uniting for one last ‘fuck you lockouts’ party.

Catch a selection of photos and videos from today’s Keep Queensland Open rally, below.

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