Queensland scraps plans for lock-out laws
In a move welcomed by the local music industry, the government of Queensland has abandoned plans for a 1am lock-out, opting instead for mandatory ID scanners to deter alcohol-fuelled violence.
The Australian state announced last year it was to follow neighbouring New South Wales (NSW) in introducing ‘lock-out laws’ that would see an earlier curfew imposed on venues and nightclubs. Former NSW premier Mike Baird, who resigned last month, has become a hate figure for his role as architect of the state’s lock-out laws, which critics claim have crippled the night-time economy.
Queensland’s laws were due to come into effect on 1 February, but lawmakers voted to abandon the plans in favour of mandatory ID scanners, which must be installed in all venues in ‘safe night precincts’ before 1 July.
Queensland’s music-industry development association, QMusic, describes the news as a “huge relief”.
“The lockout laws were never founded upon hard data relevant to Queensland – they were founded on a hunch”
“We are pleased that the government has listened to the music industry’s perspective on this legislation,” says QMusic executive officer Joel Edmondson.
“It’s a pity that it took a year of uncertainty before these laws were scrapped, but we thank the government for continuing discussion with QMusic and others over the last 12 months.”
Edmonson adds that the association carried out its own research on lock-out laws and failed to find any evidence they would improve public safety in the state.
“The lockout laws were never founded upon hard data relevant to Queensland,” he explains. “They were founded on a hunch. And that hunch would have damaged our great music industry.”
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