ID scan strategy fails the pub test Patrons shun Safe Night venues as owners count cost
ONLY 19 revellers were denied entry to pubs and clubs outside of Brisbane and the Gold Coast in the first two months of the State Government’s ID scanning scheme.
And the state’s three latenight hot spots – Fortitude Valley, Brisbane CBD and Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast – recorded less than 70 between them.
Data obtained by The Courier-Mail also reveals a dramatic reduction in the number of IDs being scanned around the state since the introduction of the scheme on July 1.
In the first week, licensed venues in the 15 Safe Night Precincts scanned 213,000 people, but only 167,000 people entered the same venues during the week ending August 27.
Since the introduction of scanning, all Ipswich venues have ceased trading past midnight to avoid the high cost of scanning IDs,
Other Queensland regional towns such as Bundaberg, Mackay, Toowoomba and Gladstone have had only a fraction of the number of scans carried out in bigger precincts.
Queensland Hotels Association chief executive Bernie Hogan said it had reached the point where it was more financially viable for venue licensees to have businesses outside of Safe Night Precincts so they did not have to scan IDs.
“We’ve always said ID scanners are useful in areas where the risk supports it – large groups of people on busy nights in the major population centres, and the figures are showing that,” he said.
“It has always been our concern. Realistically you look at these regional places to push one, two or three people out on to the street or have them in queues.
“That was never the intention, and in those places the cost doesn’t appear to justify the result.
“The numbers suggest it is driving people away from the licensed venues which is the safest place for people to be.”
A spokeswoman for Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said there would be a review of the ID scanner operation next year.
“ID scanners in licensed venues are a key plank of the Palaszczuk Government’s strategy for tackling alcoholfuelled violence,” the spokeswoman said.
“More than 1.9 million IDs have been scanned since the laws were introduced in July.
“More than 95 contraventions have also been detected, which means there has been more than 95 instances where someone with a banning order has tried to enter a venue and has been stopped.
“If scanners have prevented one family from dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy, they have already proven their worth.”