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3am lockout ‘bad legislation’

Written by Gretel French
Police in Brunswick Street

Valley Police presence integral to manage revellers on the street after 3.00am.

The effect of the Fortitude Valley’s 3.00am lockout legislation remains in question as Valley-goers voice their discontent with current legislation.

Queensland’s lockout legislation was introduced in 2006 and keeps patrons from re-entering licensed venues after 3am. In 2011 there was speculation that the Bligh Government had plans to lift the lockout, but no further moves were made.

Nick Braban, chairman of the Valley Liquor Accord continues to lobby the government in regards to this legislation that he believes adds safety risk in the Valley.

“A lot of people don’t understand the 3.00am lockout, especially visitors. The responsibility of trying to enforce this law on the population falls on business owners. I don’t think that’s a great situation”, he said.

Mr Braban also highlighted the added strain on police and transport systems after 3am.

“Trains don’t start running again until a few hours later so taxis are their only option.”

Benjamin Wash, CEO of Taxi Council Queensland says that taxi ranks and their officials are often in a position of responsibility with valley revelers.

“Secure ranks move, on average, 4,800 people every Friday and Saturday night. This significantly reduces the number of intoxicated people standing on the street and helps to alleviate violence by literally removing people from the area,” Mr Wash said.

In support of the lockout abolition, valley-goers have taken to social media to voice their discontent. Facebook pages have emerged such as ‘End the 3am Lockout’ and ‘Queensland Locked Out’ and have attracted hundreds of likes in support.

Nick Braban believes that the Valley’s pre-existing management scheme, including the ‘Drink Safe Precinct Trial’ is already efficient enough.

“Without certain changes, we strongly feel that it’s a bad piece of legislation. In a concentrated entertainment precinct where we have such a strong management plan and strategies in place, it’s just an unnecessary thing,” he said.

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