MPs TO VOTE DOWN LOCKOUT BILL

In Alcohol-related violence by Clyde Mooney

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Independent MP Billy Gordon has come out against the controversial plan for State-wide lockouts in Queensland, announcing plans to team with two Katter Party MPs to veto the bill.

The State election in January saw Queensland Labor vow to address alcohol-related violence, and to date this has centred around consideration of 1am lockouts and 3am forced closures across the State.

Speaking on ABC Radio, powerful independent MP Billy Gordon expressed doubts as to the plan’s validity and intends to use his key vote against the motion.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of evidence to support this type of legislation being implemented in far north Queensland, particularly in Cairns.

“I don’t see why we need to start putting in place legislation that may have, I think, dire economic consequences.”

These comments echo industry and a number of prominent Queensland local Councils’ concerns that the restrictions would have similar effects on the night time economy as have been seen in Sydney.

Annastacia Palaszczuk’s minority government requires the support of the independents to pass legislation, and a vote against by Gordon could see it forced to consider alternatives to the controversial plan.

“People have voted for me and I’m blessed to have very significant power, or influence, in the parliament and I want to use that in a responsible way,” Gordon told ABC radio on Monday.

Gordon’s electorate of Cook is reliant on income from tourism, and he says his decision to stand against the Government comes after wide consultation with stakeholders and police.

Billy Gordon_Member for Cook_web