An­gry club own­ers de­mand meet­ing with Palaszczuk over lock­out plan

Not hav­ing a bar of it

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHAR­LIE PEEL char­lie. peel@ news. com. au

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.”

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