Last drink laws will affect patrons and hospitality staff state-wide
Hospitality staff say they are concerned the newly-introduced liquor laws will add to alcohol-fuelled violence, and lead to further job losses in Queensland.
The state's new liquor laws came into effect on July 1 and now prevent patrons from ordering alcoholic beverages after 2am in venues state-wide.
Bars, clubs and pubs in safe night precincts will be able to serve alcohol until 3am, however, shots or pre-mixed drinks containing more than five per cent alcohol by volume will be banned from midnight onwards.
We spoke to some North Queenslanders who will be affected by the new laws and asked them what they think about it.
The club manager
Krystle Bowden manages a nightclub as well as a cocktail and wine bar in Mackay.
She said while the Queensland Government wants the new laws to help tackle alcohol-fuelled violence, she thinks they are going to cause more problems than they are going to fix.
"Pushing [patrons] all out at the one time is just going to create more chaos because you're going to have everyone from every bar getting pushed out onto the streets at the one time," Ms Bowden said.
"Taxis are not going to be able to cater for it and you're going to have hundreds of people on the street all still wanting to party, and they're going to fight each other.
"It's not really solving the violence problem."
The taxi driver
Bill Paull has been a taxi driver in Mackay for the past two years.
He said he was not convinced the new liquor laws would prevent street violence.
"It won't do a thing while ice is still on the shelf," he said.
"The worst part about it is that a lot of them are on ice; the ice isn't something we can control.
"Most of them are very irate; they twiddle their fingers and carry on.
"It sticks out like a sore thumb, but they're usually with a group of friends so you usually take them anyway because their friends can control them."
Mr Paull said he doubted all people would go home at 3am when alcohol service stopped in safe night precincts.
"I personally think they should take the energy drinks off the market in the pubs," he said.
"The Red Bull is keeping them awake and active, whereas they'd be going to bed earlier and not as aggro."
Brett Gordon, 42, said the new laws were a positive for Queensland.
He still enjoys going out to pubs and bars occasionally, and said he found that by midnight, he was ready to slow down and call it a night.
"Once you get to that stage of the night, I don't think you need anymore," he said.
"I think it's good they stop shots after midnight; I think at the start of the night get yourself going, but you don't really need it after midnight.
"I think a lot of the young ones now do pre-loading before they go out so I'm sure by midnight they've had enough."
The hospitality worker
Kate Williams works at a bar within a safe night precinct in Mackay, and said the new laws would affect staff.
"A lot of people are going to lose jobs [and] hours," she said.
She said this was because with the introduction of the new laws, and despite the bar's gaming room being open until 5am, they would only be able to serve alcohol until three in the morning.
"It will hurt; it will just be our gaming staff really and a security guard and they'll have to serve water or soft drink between those hours," she said.
"I'm sure we'll get some not-very-happy responses and we'll have to explain.
"Of course, we know about it because we're in the industry, but I'm not sure how good it has been put out there for the young ones."
Ms Williams added that it was unfortunate casinos were exempt from the new liquor laws in Queensland.
"They can do whatever they want and we little fish have to struggle and deal with the new laws and regulations; that is definitely not fair," she said.
To learn more about the new liquor laws in Queensland visit the Queensland Government website.
Source: ABC News