A discerning voice has rung out against Queensland Labor’s “blanket legislation” to introduce State-wide lockouts, with FNQ MP Billy Gordon calling for actual evidence.

Concerned the proposed lockout laws will have detrimental effects in his electorate, Gordon warns the Labor Government it will need to provide “substantive evidence” that venues in the area actually have a problem with alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour.

“This could really put a dampener on the nightlife Cairns is known for,” said Gordon.

“I’m not sure there is substantive evidence that supports that street violence or levels of anti-social behaviour are at an alarming rate in Cairns.

“I certainly welcome the opportunity for the Government to brief me on this legislation and outline some of the thinking about it.

“But anecdotally I don’t see substantive evidence to put in blanket legislation like this.”

Representing the electorate of Cook, Gordon is today an independent, after being dumped by the Labour Party.

The LNP has already tipped they will oppose the Bill, meaning that if Gordon opposes it Labor will require the support of the two Katter’s Australian Party members.

KAP MP Shane Knuth cites the need for careful consideration in the already-suffering country districts.

“In rural and regional areas we have been handed a pretty bad blow over the years in regards to employment, downturn in economy and funding, so we just need to be very cautious with policies that can affect areas rather than benefit.”

Our Nightlife Queensland represents licensed venues owners throughout the State. They have estimated damage to the Cairns economy alone could be in the region of $25 million (year-on-year), which could result in the loss of hundreds of jobs.

“Cairns is known for its diverse nightlife and is worth $91 million to the economy employing over 800 locals,” Our Nightlife Queensland director Nick Braban told PubTIC.

“Many staff and small businesses in the hospitality and entertainment sectors are worried about the impact of the Government’s changes to liquor licensing laws including the harsh 1am lock out policy.

“Our Nightlife Queensland has been travelling across the State meeting with Members of Parliament to share the industry’s concerns.

“We look forward to meeting with Mr Gordon in the near future to discuss how industry and government can work together on this important issue without costing jobs and hurting the local economy of Cairns.”

Cairns Courthouse_web_crp_adj
Cairns Courthouse Hotel. Image: website


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