ID scan­ners un­der fire in Air­lie nightlife area

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Louise Shan­non

AN ID scan­ning sys­tem, in­tro­duced through­out Air­lie Beach’s Safe Night Precinct at the start of the month, has come un­der fire for be­ing poorly man­aged, with some pub and club own­ers lack­ing faith it is suitable for ad­dress­ing po­ten­tial vi­o­lence.

As part of Air­lie Beach’s Safe Night Precinct, ID scan­ners must be in op­er­a­tion from 10pm.

Jar­ryd Bar­clay, the venue man­ager of Mag­nums, ex­pressed con­cerns about the sys­tem’s ef­fec­tive­ness as he had pa­trons in his venue from 5pm who were not scanned.

Mr Bar­clay was un­sure he would rec­om­mend an ear­lier scan­ning time as this would af­fect fam­i­lies how­ever he be­lieved harsher penal­ties for peo­ple who caused vi­o­lence could be a more ef­fi­cient ap­proach.

Over­all Mr Bar­clay thought ID scan­ners were a good idea “but the way the sys­tem has been rolled out is ap­palling”.

Mr Bar­clay said the scan­ners had not been ad­ver­tised or mar­keted thor­oughly. He said some IDs and driver’s li­cences from in­ter­state were un­recog­nised and in­ter­na­tional IDs were not recog­nised.

Stacy Har­vey, owner of pop­u­lar Air­lie Beach night­club Mama Africa for 15 years, said many venues weren’t op­posed to the scan­ners but be­lieved they’d been im­ple­mented with­out a proper trial pe­riod.

She said venues of­ten needed to hire an ex­tra staff to help process IDs and she be­lieved vi­o­lence was a so­cial is­sue, not nec­es­sar­ily re­lated to li­censed venues.

Mean­while Mem­ber for Whit­sun­day Jason Costi­gan said the process of in­tro­duc­ing the scan­ners had been “rushed and butchered”.

“We had a least one night­club owner in Air­lie who only got their scan­ning equip­ment one day be­fore they went into op­er­a­tion,” Mr Costi­gan said.

“I think there’s great merit in go­ing back to the LNP plan which was cen­tred on our Safe Night Precincts (and) which in­cluded fund­ing for lo­cal ini­tia­tives.”

But La­bor can­di­date for Whit­sun­day Bron­wyn Taha said com­mu­nity safety came first, es­pe­cially for small busi­nesses where the Safe Night Precinct was lo­cated.

“I think any mea­sure that stops peo­ple be­ing hurt and keep­ing vi­o­lence and thugs out of our pubs and clubs can only help en­sure a safe night out for ev­ery­one,” she said.


SCANNED: Mag­nums Ho­tel venue man­ager Jar­ryd Bar­clay uses a new ID scan­ner in Air­lie Beach.

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