Hotels face early close
COOLANGATTA Police support a proposal to force pubs and clubs to close by 2am.
The measure is being considered by the Queensland Government in a bid to curb drunken violence.
Coolangatta Police duty sergeant Bill Kaz said all initiatives aimed at reducing the amount of alcohol-related crime are great.
“Any improvements in liquor licensing in relation to reducing excessive consumption of alcohol is always welcome within the Coolangatta division,” Sgt Kaz said.
“However, police will continue to work with the stakeholders in regards to the current operation licences to ensure they co-operate with RSA (Responsible Serving of Alcohol) issues.”
Coolangatta's busy nightclub strip has become notorious over the past few months, with a 23-year-old Murwillumbah man dying in a late-night brawl.
The proposal for suburban pubs and clubs to be forced to close at midnight and 2am respectively was in a Queensland Police Union submission to the State Government's inquiry into alcohol-related violence.
“There is now plenty of evidence that selling liquor until sunrise is taking a high toll on our youth,” Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said.
“They are ending up in our watch-houses, courts, ambulances and our hospitals at an alarming rate.
“Sensible young men and women are committing acts of brutality and callousness while blind drunk; that destroys their future and that of their victims and families.”
The reduction in trading hours is supported by the ambulance officers' union, the Trauma Committee Australasian Royal College of Surgeons, and the Brisbane City Council.
Mr Leavers said he knew licensees would not be happy with the submission, but the good of the wider community should come before money-making.
Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said the submission would be considered.
“On a daily basis they're dealing with the aftermath of alcohol-fuelled violence; they're at the coalface in dealing with this issue, so it's understandable that they would see a reduction in hours as having some impact on that,” Mr Roberts said.
“It needs to be seriously considered by the committee.”