Queensland Government push for crossbench support to pass liquor laws
The Queensland Government has enlisted the help of a wide ranging group of stakeholders in a bid to put pressure on the MPs crucial to passing its contentious liquor laws.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk addressed the media today flanked by senior ministers, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, medicos, and members of the Salvation Army.
Ms Palaszcuzk said the lockout laws have the support of the community.
"Never before have I seen so many stakeholders from different groups of society, coming together as one, standing together as one, to take community action through legislation," Ms Palaszczuk said.
The amendment provides for:
- Last drinks at 2am
- State-wide Safe Night Precinct local boards being able to apply for approval for venues to continue selling alcohol until 3am, provided they have a 1am lockout policy
- All venues throughout the state being able to remain open beyond 2am (or 3am in approved Safe Night Precincts) to serve food, non-alcohol beverages and to provide entertainment
- Banning the sale and supply of high-alcohol content and rapid consumption drinks, such as shots, after midnight
The laws, which would mean earlier last drinks in Queensland's pubs and clubs, will be debated in Parliament this week.
"The Parliament as one can do something here ... this is the right thing to do," Ms Palaszczuk said.
Ms Palaszczuk will meet with crossbench MPs Billy Gordon, Rob Katter, and Shane Knuth on Monday.
The Government needs one of them to support the laws for them to pass.
Mr Knuth said he and fellow Katter's Australian Party MP Mr Katter were still undecided on whether to back the laws.
"We'll be discussing these issues with the Premier," he said.
"We'll also be sitting down and talking about the preloading, and likewise you know whether these laws actually address the issue. But one of the things is we believe this will go right down to the wire and we want to get this right."
Ms Palaszczuk would not counter the possibility of a plan B should the laws fail to pass.
"If these laws do not pass, it is not our fault, the burden of responsibility will be on those opposite, the LNP."
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said the LNP was not convinced the laws would work.
"What we did was working, the early evidence showed that, why did they stop collecting and reporting that particular evidence," Mr Springborg said.
He said the laws were inconsistent.
"The pub has to close, but the strip joint next door doesn't, the casino on the other joint doesn't."
Source: ABC News