LOCKOUT laws will be implemented in Queensland from July 2016 after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk reached a deal to pass the legislation.
Ms Palaszczuk reached an 11th-hour agreement with Katter’s Australian Party MPs Rob Katter and Shane Knuth this morning after agreeing to a list of demands and changes to the proposed legislation.
“My government’s laws will pass through the parliament of Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Labor government has agreed to look at unemployment issues and investment opportunities in Mr Katter and Mr Knuth’s northwestern electorates and prioritise mental health funding in the next budget, which is due in June.
Amendments to the government’s lockout laws, agreed to today, include the ability to ban drug offenders from nightclub precincts and a phasing-in of changes to trading hours for pubs and clubs.
Queensland’s controversial lockout laws follow similar measures to curb alcohol-fuelled violence in Sydney.
A statewide 2am last-drinks call will be imposed from July 1, with venues in nightclub precincts able to serve drinks until 3am.
However a 1am lockout meant to combine with the 3am last drinks call for nightclub precincts won’t be imposed now until February 1 next year.
An independent review of the laws is scheduled for July 2018.
Mr Katter said KAP needed to use its leverage to push issues important to rural Queensland.
“Alcohol-fuelled violence is an important social policy for the government, and the impact of unemployment and the economic downturn are important social policy issues for us,” he said.
The premier said the issues KAP raised were important to the state.
“We are committed to curbing alcohol-fuelled violence, but we are also committed to increasing employment and devoting more resources to mental health,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk entered discussions this morning bracing for the lockout laws to be the first piece of her government’s legislation to fail in parliament.
Independent MP Billy Gordon had already indicated he wouldn’t back the laws, leaving KAP as the government’s last hope.
Source: News Limited, 17th February, 2016