ID scanners raise concern
FLINDERS St late night traders say ID scanners will help make the city’s party strip safer but they are concerned about the ongoing cost.
From tonight, venues in Safe Night Precincts, including Flinders St, will have to scan the identification of patrons entering establishments.
The safety measure replaces the widely unpopular State Government proposal of a 1am lockout time.
However the scanners are costly and under the legislation they have to be operated by a licensed crowd controller.
Safe Night CBD Precinct Townsville president Jodie Bell said she had heard three venues in Townsville would be closing early to avoid having ID scanners but most establishments supported the measure. But, she said many businesses were concerned about having to have the scanners operated by security guards which could cost upwards of $ 80,000 a year.
“We all understand the reason behind ID scanners and we do believe it will reduce the number of incidents,” she said.
“We’re just trying to find common ground and provide a safe environment without impacting on the ongoing cost so much.
“It’s sad that more consultation wasn’t done with licensed venues and it’s unfortunate they did a blanket approach because regional areas are very different to metropolitan areas.”
Businesses have the option of closing at midnight to avoid being forced to use scanners.
Statewide, 238 licensed ve- nues in Safe Night Precincts will be required to have ID scanners. Heritage Exchange owner Emmanuel Bogiatzis said they were expecting to have some teething issues with the scanners but he supported their introduction.
“A couple of traders have had a few issues scanning some of the international and overseas driver’s licences but the company that supplies the machines is working on the issue,” he said.
“They can still enter the venue but their details have to be entered manually so we’re worried it will slow things down.
“Most of the late night traders are supportive because it will keep out the troublemakers on the banning list and bring fake IDs to our attention.
“At the end of the day if this solution makes venues safer then it will be better for us and better for patrons.”