RE­VIEW, ON THE DOU­BLE

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - OPINION -

For most Gold Coast bar and night­club op­er­a­tors – and no doubt pa­trons – a Gov­ern­ment re­view of its trou­bled com­pul­sory ID scan­ner roll­out can’t come soon enough.

The La­bor-led State Gov­ern­ment is promis­ing to next year run the ruler over it af­ter a chaotic July 1 in­tro­duc­tion.

Com­pul­sory ID scan­ning has a laud­able aim – to weed out pa­trons with court or po­lice-im­posed bar bans. The scan­ners are linked to a data­base red-flag­ging bad eggs.

But it had what can only be de­scribed as a botched in­tro­duc­tion, with scan­ners prov­ing in­com­pat­i­ble with many for­eign IDs. Un­for­tu­nately, for Surfers Par­adise and Broad­beach those hap­pened to be IDs from some of the Coast’s most pop­u­lar vis­i­tor mar­kets, Canada, the US and even NZ.

Man­ual en­try cre­ated queues and frus­tra­tion. The launch in late June hap­pened to be on Canada Day, cre­at­ing even more of a night­mare for in­creased num­bers of cel­e­brat­ing Cana­di­ans on the Glit­ter Strip.

It is no won­der a re­spected voice of the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, Else­where owner Si­mone Jenk­ins, won­ders whether the new re­quire­ment has ac­tu­ally done much at all to achieve its goal of in­creased public safety.

As she says, in many ways it’s only led to more frus­tra­tion for pun­ters and headaches and ex­tra cost for venue bosses.

She hopes any re­view prop­erly analy­ses and de­ter­mines whether any ben­e­fit has been achieved by the in­tro­duc­tion.

And if not, let’s hope the Gov­ern­ment has the courage to re­think the whole thing.

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