Premier Campbell Newman says his state will unveil its plan to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence in March, but still isn’t keen on earlier closing hours.
Revellers who can’t control their drink will feel the full force of the law after the Queensland government releases its alcohol management plan in March.
Premier Campbell Newman fleshed out on Thursday what he wants to do to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence, but he says he isn’t keen to follow NSW by imposing earlier lock-out times.
He says pubs closed at 6pm in Queensland up until the 1960s, but that failed to curb anti-social behaviour.
He says it instead resulted in the six o’clock swill, where men would just binge drink until closing time before going home to “belt their wives and kids”.
While Mr Newman hasn’t ruled out earlier closing times for pubs, he’d prefer reducing trading hours of bottle shops to curb preloading, more police in nightspots, drug dogs to crack down on the use of ice, going after gangs who make and distribute the ice, tougher penalties and an education campaign.
The premier appears to have the support of Queenslanders.
Of the 5500 people who’ve given feedback, 45 per cent want tougher penalties, and only four per cent support earlier closing times.
“If we have earlier closing times, we are essentiality punishing the many, for the sins of the few,” he told ABC radio.
“What I’m suggesting is that we have a zero tolerance approach,” he said.
“There will be tough action.
“We will be making that call sometime in March and then we’ll implement it.”
The premier supports the Australian Medical Association’s call on Thursday to hold a national summit on alcohol abuse, but would want it to go further to include drug-fuelled violence.
“Australia has more than a drinking problem,” Mr Newman said.