In our last legal update, we foreshadowed some possible
amendments to the liquor laws in Queensland. On Sunday, the
Queensland Government released its "Safe Night Out
Strategy", a draft plan to tackle alcohol-related and
drug-related violence that occurs in or around licensed premises in
Queensland, and follows New South Wales' recent legislative
changes to address anti-social behaviour arising from excessive
The draft plan attempts to provide a holistic approach, with
"sober safe centres" in 15 new "Safe Night
Precincts", harsher penalties, school education programs and
substantial new powers for the Regulator addressing this
Like New South Wales, the Queensland Government proposes a suite
of legislative measures to tackle alcohol and drug-fuelled violence
life imprisonment for those convicted under new "One
Punch" laws where the offender is intoxicated by drugs or
the removal of voluntary intoxication by drugs or alcohol as a
mitigating factor when courts determine a sentence;
convicted defendants requiring to serve at least 80per cent of
their life sentences behind bars, before being eligible for
the maximum penalty for aggravated serious assaults on
ambulance officers will increase from 7 to 14 years
penalties for steroid use will be raised to match other
dangerous drugs such as ecstasy and crystal methamphetamine;
on-the-spot fines for public nuisance raised to $660 with a
maximum fine of $2,750 or 6 months imprisonment;
patrons who refuse to leave a licensed premises could face
penalties of up to $5,500; and
police having the power to impose an immediate 24-hour ban for
a troublemaker from a precinct.
Many of these new legislative amendments, similar to those
introduced by the New South Wales Government, target those people
who behave irresponsibly when they are out at night in
Queensland's licensed premises.
However, the legislative reform proposed under this new draft
plan does not just target the "punter".
The draft plan looks at implementing new ways to ensure
licensees provide a safe environment for their patrons with stiffer
penalties for those licensees who fail to do so.
A legislative review of the regulation of Queensland's
liquor industry will be designed to ensure that the Regulator is
given sufficient power to:
undertake covert and overt compliance monitoring programs;
target serious non-compliance with the Liquor Act
introduce mandatory requirements to operate networkable ID
scanners for venues that trade after midnight.
No change to trading hours has been mooted as the Premier wants
a night life in Queensland but the State is "to be the safest
place in Australia for people to go out and enjoy
The draft plan proposes to approve a final extension to the
moratorium originally imposed by the previous Government nearly 5
years ago on decisions about late-night trading until the 31st
August 2014, to allow the measures proposed in the plan to take
The Government, after listening to 12,000 Queenslanders'
feedback on addressing anti-social behaviour at licensed premises
that were obtained from the Government's recent online survey,
believes that tougher penalties and better education is the best
The Government intends to make it compulsory for every student
from Years 7 – 12 to undertake education about "drink
safety" together with the Government conducting a public
awareness campaign about the clear standards of behaviour for
patrons to stop alcohol and drug-related violence.
This draft plan is now subject to a further month of public
comment. The survey is available here and will close on Monday 21st
The Premier has stated that the results of this survey will be
used to roll out an effective Safe Night Out Strategy to address
the issue of alcohol and drug-related violence in Queensland.
Norton Rose Fulbright is experienced in all aspects of the
Tourism Industry. Our expertise covers all ancillary aspects that
relate to the industry but particularly on liquor licensing, gaming
regulations and property matters. Our unrivalled insight into the
often complex legal requirements of the Industry has enabled us to
build up an invaluable understanding of the commercial and
practical aspects of our clients' ventures.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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