Proposed early lockout laws the solution to alcohol-fuelled violence in Queensland, surgeon says
A surgeon believes reducing licensing hours for nightclubs as proposed in a review by the Queensland Government will guarantee a reduction in alcohol-related violence in the state.
MPs remain divided about the new nightclub lockout laws that would see a last-drinks time of 2:00am except in prescribed Safe Night Precincts where alcohol could be served until 3:00am but with a 1:00am lockout.
Yesterday, the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee could not reach a majority decision on whether the proposed laws should be passed and the Opposition has vowed to vote against the bill.
By 2014 alcohol related hospitalisations in Queensland had reached 45,000 and that’s an increase of 38% from 2010.Surgeon Dr John Crozier
The Government wants to debate – and pass – the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill when Parliament resumes next week.
Dr John Crozier, chair of the National Trauma Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, said the bill would ensure a safer community for Queensland.
“The Government has moved in the right direction with a range of proven measures and I think they are to be commended in that regard,” he told 612 ABC Brisbane’s Steve Austin.
“It’s a lengthy report with some very good considerations and very reliable witness evidence presented.
“There are decades of tragic evidence of the range of harm in Queensland.”
Lockout laws ‘not draconian’
Dr Crozier said the lockout laws and the restriction on bottle shop sales from 10:00pm were modest.
“They are not draconian and they will reliably reduce the alcohol-related harms and they have been proven to work and can be reliably anticipated to work in Queensland,” he said.
This is a national tragedy which we have to align and curb.Surgeon Dr John Crozier
Dr Crozier said it was “a great pity” that there was an increasing number of people killed in domestic violence situations at the hands of an alcohol-fuelled partner.
“There were 1,143 alcohol-related deaths in 2010 in Queensland and 32,844 alcohol-related hospitalisations in that year,” he said.
“But by 2014, alcohol-related hospitalisations in Queensland had reached 45,000 and that’s an increase of 38 per cent from 2010.
“This is a national tragedy which we have to align and curb.”