Queensland lockout laws welcomed
NEW lockout laws will see Queensland revellers forced to stick to an earlier bed time, but those near the NSW border will be able to beat the regime by ducking into Tweed Heads.
The controversial laws, due to take effect from July 1, will see last drinks served at 3am in party precincts and 2am in other areas.
Tweed/Byron LAC licensing coordinator Sergeant Brad Stewart said the lockout laws shouldn't see Queensland's rejected drunks spill into our streets.
"We always have patrons moving between Tweed Heads and Coolangatta," Sgt Stewart said.
"Twin Towns is right on the border, we've got other hotels right on the border."
He said the lockouts shouldn't be a problem because most Tweed venues were responsible with their service of alcohol.
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"They're still subject to the rules of entry," he said.
"Our Tweed venues are, in a great majority, very compliant premises. They stick strongly to the RSA (responsible service of alcohol) and they monitor their patrons very well."
While there have been some concerns the lockouts won't stop coward punches, Sgt Stewart said Byron Bay Liquor Accord's voluntary 1.30am lockouts had only reaped positive results.
"I think the venues (in Byron) had had enough with violence," he said.
"Australians love to go out and have a good time and that's fine as long as we do it safely.
"We're not in the business of stopping people from having a good time. We just want people to be safe.
"We don't want you to go out and fear being assaulted or worse."
Currumbin LNP MP Jann Stuckey, whose electorate covers Coolangatta, told the ABC the new laws couldn't rule out further attacks on the streets.
"The Labor Government does not have a mandate on compassion and empathy," Ms Stuckey said.
"A 'something is better than nothing' attitude will not guarantee the safety of our kids."
The Queensland Police Union welcomed the laws.
Moree grandfather Trevor Duroux died in hospital after falling victim to an alleged coward punch outside a Coolangatta hotel on December 4, while Cabarita resident Sam Ford is still learning to walk and talk again after being punched in Coolangatta in 2009.