ID scanners under fire in Airlie nightlife area
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.