ID scan­ning draws flak

Night­club vet­eran un­con­vinced ‘has­sle’ worth it

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - RYAN KEEN AND TREN­TON AK­ERS

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.

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