Venues back tough new one punch laws
SUNSHINE Coast venue managers have applauded the State Government's tough stance on alcohol-fuelled violence which places the onus on patrons to control themselves.
Labelling one-punch attacks as "coward punches", the Government has proposed a raft of laws to deter violent partygoers, including a charge of unlawful striking causing death which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Being drunk will not be considered an excuse.
The on-the-spot fine for public nuisance including disorderly conduct will double from $330 to a minimum of $660 and police will crack down hard on those who refuse to leave a premises and those who assault public officers.
Fifteen Safe Night Precincts will be set up across the state, including the Sunshine Coast, and alcohol and drug education will be made compulsory in schools.
The legislation will also allow courts to ban people from clubs and pubs.
He said one of the best outcomes of the draft was the compulsory installation of identification scanners at venues open later than midnight.
"This is the first step but I think the real deterrent will be when we have an integrated system of identifying banned persons across Queensland,'' he said.
A team of seven groups across the Coast has been working for several years to find practical solutions to alcohol-related issues through the organisation CALM - Collaborative Approach to Liquor Management.
CALM Maroochydore chair Dion Spadaro said most members of CALM agreed with the plans and the onus placed on patrons to drink and act responsibly.
"There needs to be a real blend of both good operators doing the right thing and the accountability of individuals for their actions," Mr Spadaro said.
"Prior to now when you have patrons who are getting intoxicated and acting up, they never had much in the way of repercussions.
"The main problem is pre-loading, where people are drinking heavily before going out.''