ID scanning draws flak
Nightclub veteran unconvinced ‘hassle’ worth it
A GOLD Coast nightclub veteran is questioning the benefits of compulsory ID scanning as new data reveals how many patrons are being banned.
Elsewhere nightclub owner Simone Jenkins, who said her venue just notched up 14 years and had never had a “major incident”, described the scanners as “pretty dysfunctional” with questionable benefit.
Miss Jenkins said she hoped the Government’s promised review of the system would accurately analyse whether the new system had fulfilled its aim of making the bar scene safer for patrons.
The new scanners, launched on July 1, are linked to a statewide database and red-flag patrons with court or police-imposed venue bans.
But when launched, scanners were incompatible with many foreign IDs – requiring time-consuming manual entry – and Miss Jenkins said yesterday there were still ongoing problems with functionality leading to queuing.
“They delay a lot of flow and are a making people more frustrated around licensed venues. We’ve never had any trouble at Elsewhere anyway so there has been no difference that we have seen.
“It’s just a hassle. It doesn’t feel like it’s been a well-executed plan with lots of lead in.”
New data shows just a handful of punters have been denied entry to pubs and clubs outside of the Gold Coast and Brisbane party precincts under the new regime.
Outside of late-night hot spots Surfers Paradise, Brisbane CBD and Fortitude Valley, 19 people in 12 Safe Night Precincts have been flagged by the scanners since July 1.
Data also shows a dramatic drop in the amount of people being scanned.
Licensed venues in Safe Night Precincts scanned 213,000 people in the first week but only 167,000 entered the same venues during the week ending August 27.
A spokeswoman for Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said there would be a review next year.
“ID scanners in licensed venues are a key plank of the Palaszczuk Government’s strategy for tackling alcoholfuelled violence,” she said.
“More than 1.9 million IDs have been scanned. More than 95 contraventions have also been detected, which means more than 95 instances where someone with a banning order has tried to enter a venue and been stopped.
“If scanners have prevented one family from dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy, they have proven their worth.”
Data shows since the July 1 launch up to August 27, Surfers Paradise venues have turned away 20 red-flagged patrons, with just one in Broadbeach. That compares to 26 in Brisbane hotspot Fortitude Valley, 23 in Brisbane CBD, three in Cairns and four in Townsville.