The State Government has stepped up its campaign to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence with a 12-month freeze on approving applications for extended trading hours for pubs and clubs.
Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the freeze applies to applications already lodged or due in the next year but will not impact on venues with existing licences.
The moratorium is in place while a parliamentary inquiry examines the link between extended trading hours (between midnight and 5am) and violence and other anti-social behaviour.
“This is a very real issue in today’s society – that is an unfortunate fact – but it’s our job to deal with it rather than turn a blind eye,” Mr Pitt said.
“It’s destroying lives and disrupting those who do the right thing. Enough is enough. A good night out should never involve binge drinking or king hits. As a Government, we are absolutely determined to deal with this issue. If it stops one life being destroyed, it’s worth it.”
Mr Pitt said the Government recognised that most venues and most patrons drink responsibly and did the right thing.
Pubs and clubs with existing licences would not be affected. And the freeze would not affect applications for trading hours on New Years Eve or other special occasions which would continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The moratorium follows strong action already taken by the Bligh Government including a crackdown early openings and on the use of glass in high-risk venues after 45 recorded cases of ‘glassings’ in just 12 months.
A parliamentary inquiry is underway through the all-party Law, Justice and Safety Committee Inquiry into Alcohol-Related Violence, which is due to report in March next year.
Submissions close on Friday, 23 October 2009. To obtain an issues paper or for further information about the Committee and its work visit www.parliament.qld.gov.au/ljsc
- It takes affect from Wednesday 16 September and will be in place for 12 months pending the outcomes of the Law, Justice and Safety Committed Inquiry into Alcohol-Related Violence due in March 2010.
- The Government will amend the Liquor Act 1992 to impose the moratorium
- It affects about 150 current applications already underway across the State and any further applications received over the next 12 months
- It applies to applications for extended trading hours between 12am and 5am
- The Government’s legislation will allow the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation to consider application on an exceptional basis within the moratorium period in a limited number of areas which already have a number of venues operating with extended trading hours.
- It does not affect existing trading hours of current licensees
- It will not affect applications for trading on New Years Eve or for one off events such as weddings and birthdays which will continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis.