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Lockout laws to save government millions

MAKE IT HAPPEN: Jim Madden spoke strongly in support of the lockout laws during the marathon debate.
MAKE IT HAPPEN: Jim Madden spoke strongly in support of the lockout laws during the marathon debate.

QUEENSLAND'S new lockout laws came down to one vote.

At about 2am on Thursday, Labor and Katter's Australian Party MPs voted to approve the laws as the LNP and independent Billy Gordon voted against them.

More than half the parliament spoke about the laws - including Ipswich West MP Jim Madden.

Mr Madden, who sits on the committee that reviewed the legislation, said late-night violence was costing the country billions and action must be taken to stop it.

"Alcohol-fuelled violence is costing our society dearly - not just in lost lives and injuries but it is a drain on our emergency services, our health system and our criminal justice system," he said.

"It is estimated that each year alcohol-fuelled violence problems cost the Australian economy more than $36 billion."

From July 1, 2016 last drinks will be at 2am - except in designated entertainment precincts where venues can apply for last drinks at 3am if they agree to a lockout from 1am.

The bill has not been universally welcomed though - the shadow attorney-general Ian Walker CORRECT said the former LNP government had implemented more wide-ranging policies.

"We have significant concerns about not only the lack of evidence for this measure but also the gaps and inconsistencies within this legislation," he said.

"The government seems to be saying that alcohol is the root cause of all evil, yet gambling and other forms of entertainment have been carved out of this legislation with their own set of rules and regulations."

Despite the LNP's opposition, the bill has found support from Clubs Queensland and the Queensland Law Society.

QLS president Bill Potts said he hoped the legislation would stop more people dying on nights out.

"This is a big step towards ending the carnage on our streets, and the society welcomes this important legislation," he said.

Clubs Queensland chief Doug Flockhart said patrons' safety was vital to clubs remaining successful.

"Clubs Queensland welcomes the passage of this bill to help reduce violent behaviour across Queensland communities, whilst ensuring the late night economy remains vibrant and safe for all to enjoy."

Topics:  jim madden, lockout, queensland government




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