Angry club owners demand meeting with Palaszczuk over lockout plan
Not having a bar of it
TOWNSVILLE nightclub operators are furious with the State Government’s plans for a 1am lockout, demanding to meet Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk before she “shuts down” their businesses.
Industry heavyweights say the proposal for 1am lockouts and 3am bar closures would cripple their industry and they want to meet Ms Palaszczuk while she is in Townsville today.
Brothers Leagues Club CEO Justin Wilkins said the club, which closes at 2am, would suffer with a 1am lockout.
“People will vacate our premises a lot quicker to get to others before the 1am lockout and we would definitely have to lose staff,” he said.
“It’s not going to solve anything and it will make people feel trapped and frustrated when they can’t get in somewhere and see their friends.
“I’m very happy to press our case to the Premier.”
Townsville Liquor Accord president and Mad Cow Tavern owner Mark Napier said the plan was overkill. “We will be asking the Premier to sit down with us before they shut us down,” he said.
However, operators may be disappointed as it is believed Ms Palaszczuk already has a packed schedule over the Townsville 400 weekend.
Mr Napier ( pictured) said alcohol- fuelled violence was an issue for the entire community and not confined to licensed venues, which he said offered a more controlled environment than private homes.
“Flinders St is equipped with CCTV, amenities, 50 or more security guards, and transport,” he said.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to a statewide 1am lockout and 3am closures for pubs and clubs.
“We have made an election commitment around early lockouts and we intend to keep that commitment,” she said.
“We know that when it comes to reducing alcohol- fuelled violence on our streets early in the morning or late at night, this is a proven winner.”
Deputy Opposition Leader
police John Paul Langbroek said the strategy would cost jobs.
“Labor’s short- term strategy to close everything at 1am and 3am will cost jobs in this area, affect our reputation nationally and is not reflective of life in the 21st century,” he said.
Sun Hotel general manager Martin Smith said the measures were not justified.
“No venue manager wants problems; it’s not in our best interest,’’ he said. “A blanket rule for the entire state is not needed and it will hurt Townsville like it hurt Kings Cross.”