Yuri Arcurs

ID scanner bid for clubs to combat violence

IF tough new Safe Night Out legislation is passed on Tuesday, Sunshine Coast pubs and clubs trading after midnight will be forced to install ID scanners.

The proposed scanners will allow police to ban trouble makers from entering licensed premises in precincts identified as drunken violence hot spots.

The State Government's Safe Night Out campaign began earlier this year with the aim to restore positive culture around alcohol.

There has already been additional liquor licensing inspections and the trial of sober safe centres.

If passed, the Safe Night Out Amendment Bill 2014 will also see increased penalties, alcohol education in schools and new policing powers.

Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said tougher penalties were something many people wanted to see, particularly after two tragic deaths on the Coast.

Wayne Dover and Bruce Steensen died in violent late night assaults within three months of each other.

Ms Simpson said in addition to tougher legislation, people also wanted to see a change in the culture around alcohol consumption.

"This is why education and awareness campaigns both within schools and the wider community will be crucial to promoting the importance of responsible behaviour."

A Safe Night Out initiative that has been introduced locally with success is the use of the Maroochydore bus station as a late night taxi pick-up and drop-off zone on weekends.

This has been extended to Thursday nights and public holidays to make it easier for people to catch a taxi home.

Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robert Cavallucci said throughout the Safe Night Out campaign, the State Government was taking action to help end unacceptable behaviour.

"Queenslanders have had enough of their night being ruined by people who have had too much, and so we're red carding this behaviour," he said.

"The overwhelming majority of people go out to enjoy themselves.

"But sadly there is still a minority of people who spoil a good night out for everyone with violent behaviour."

The Maroochydore and Mooloolaba entertainment areas will form part of the Sunshine Coast Safe Night Precinct.

The Network ID scanners system cross-checks a patron's identity against a database of individuals who are subject to a Queensland Police ban or a court ban.

It aims to crack down on those who engage in violent behaviour by refusing them entry to a venue within Safe Night Precincts across the state.

Licensees authorised to operate after 12pm in Safe Night Precincts will be required to use the ID Scanner Network.


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