New laws to curb alcohol and drug fuelled violence

RESPONSIBLE DRINKING: Sugarland Tavern general manager Rory O'Connor fully supports the Safe Night Out Strategy that passed through Queensland Parliament during the week. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
RESPONSIBLE DRINKING: Sugarland Tavern general manager Rory O'Connor fully supports the Safe Night Out Strategy that passed through Queensland Parliament during the week. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN290814DRK3

THE State Government will attempt to curb alcohol and drug fuelled violence in Bundaberg through legislation, education and a stronger police presence.

The Safe Night Out Strategy was passed through Queensland Parliament during the week with key elements including compulsory drug and alcohol education in Queensland schools from Years 7 to 12 and a new offence of "unlawful striking causing death", which will carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and require the offender to serve 80% of his or her prison sentence.

There will be increased penalties for other violent and antisocial offences such as serious assault of public officers, public nuisance, refusing to leave a licensed premise, obstructing police, failing to obey a move-on order and urinating in public.

Sugarland Tavern general manager Rory O'Connor said he welcomed the changes.

"There is no doubt that there will be a stronger police presence in the CBD precinct," he said.

"The Sugarland Tavern isn't located in the precinct but we follow the same rules."

Mr O'Connor said venues trading after midnight would be required to have ID scanners, which will allow them to effectively ban unruly patrons from any venue in the area.

"Once a patron is banned from one venue they will be put on the database and it will flag them," he said.

"The fewer problems we have around licensed venues the better."

Mr O'Connor said he was happy the government had not implemented any curfews as that would have punished everyone for the actions of a few.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey said Bundaberg would be home to one of 15 Safe Night Precincts in the state.

"The new Night Safe Precinct will ensure Bundaberg's popular nightspots have co-ordinated prevention and support initiatives in place to keep patrons safe," he said.

"The community has told myself and the Government that they've had enough. The violence has to stop.

"The Safe Night Out Strategy is the most comprehensive plan of its kind in the country with stronger penalties, targeted action by police, new measures to ensure responsible service of alcohol and initiatives to educate and prevent drug and alcohol-related violence. "

Topics:  alcohol safe night out strategy state government

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