Push for timely reward
Breach drop cues call for longer nightspot hours
A PROMINENT hospitality figure says trading hours should be extended to reward the industry for a drop in liquor licence breaches.
While the Gold Coast averaged 441 liquor licence breaches in the past three years, Surfers Paradise has had nearly a 30 per cent decrease.
Surfers Paradise Licensed Venue Association president Tim Martin attributed the drop to the growing success of ID scanners and said trading hours should be extended as a reward.
“The scanners are definitely working, in conjunction with a few other things,” he said.
“Now we’ve tightened everything up ... the fines increase, the intoxications decrease ... we can start lobbying the government for another hour of trade as a trade-off.
“Most of the violence and drama comes from small percentage of people and the ID scanners have taught them a lesson: If they mess up they can’t go out.”
ID scanners were introduced by the State government on July 1 last year.
The scanners are linked to a central database that raises a flag if someone trying to enter a venue has been banned elsewhere in Queensland.
Surfers Paradise’s liquor licence breaches dropped from around 90 in 2015 and 2016 to 64 in 2017.
Broadbeach breaches were 68, 57 and 63 during the three years respectively.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said while she agreed that the scanners had been a success, no changes in trading would take place until a review.
“I agree with Tim that ID scanners are making our licensed venues in Safe Night Precincts safer,” she said.
“An independent comprehensive evaluation of the strategy is now under way, due to report back later this year.
“In the meantime, we will continue to work with industry to ensure the most effective measures to keep people safe.”
Licence breaches outside the Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach precincts have remained in the hundreds during the past three years as an increasing number of licensed venues open, from Coolangatta to Sanctuary Cove.
Mr Martin said that was understandable as venues found their feet, but said that if the pattern continued, action would need to be taken.
“As new areas develop there’s always going to be teething problems,” he said.
“With our Safe Night precincts at Surfers and Broadbeach, we’re regulated, there’s lots of police.
“We need to spread the resources if it becomes a problem in other areas.”