LNP promises to scrap lockout laws
OPPOSITION Leader Tim Nicholls says an LNP Government would move to scrap the 1am lockout if the Palaszczuk Cabinet votes to keep it when it meets next week.
Mr Nicholls, who met with Fortitude Valley club owners this morning, slammed the lockout as a "nanny state" law that would put the vibrancy of the valley at risk along with jobs.
"It's time for the government to butt out. If Annastacia Palaszczuk doesn't reverse this legislation ... if elected we will," he said.
The lockout is due to come into force on February 1 in the state's nightclub precincts.
It is the second phase of the government's anti alcohol-fuelled violence laws.
Drinking hour restrictions and a ban on rapid consumption drinks like shots after midnight were brought in on July 1 last year.
The government is expected to receive a report on how its laws are tracking this week before making a call on whether to scrap or alter the lockout component.
Meanwhile late-night operators in one of Queensland's busiest party districts say business has fallen by up to 50 per cent since new legislation designed to curb alcohol-fuelled violence was brought in six months ago.
Fortitude Valley dive bar manager Otis Noble said on Wednesday earnings at his venue were down 15 to 20 per cent, while others had dropped by almost half.
"Bars have already started to close, so it's definitely a downturn in business and it's not just nightclubs and venues who are affected," he said.
Mr Noble, who is also a member of the Keep Queensland Open group, said the state government had not consulted with the industry before the first tranche of measures were introduced on July 1, 2016.
The legislation included a ban on the sale of high-alcohol content drinks after midnight and on all alcoholic drinks after 2am.
Venues located within safe night precincts, like Brisbane's Fortitude Valley, were prohibited from selling alcoholic drinks after 3am.
Mr Noble said he wants the industry to be able to sit down with the government to share its concerns over the measures.
"I feel like there's a lot more work that can be done as opposed to a simple knee-jerk reaction," he said.
"I think a lot of the violence we have happens on the streets, it doesn't happen in the clubs."
Controversial lockout laws are scheduled to come into effect across Queensland on February 1.
There is talk the government could water down or shelve the legislation if evidence shows the first suite of measures has reduced alcohol-fuelled violence.
The government has so far refused to rule out whether the 1am lockout could be scrapped.
Tim Nicholls called on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to confirm if the lockout laws will be implemented on February 1.
"How can people plan, not knowing what the government's position is?" Mr Nicholls said.
Evidence showing what change, if any, the first round of measures has had on alcohol-fuelled violence is expected to be handed to the government this month.