KAP state leader Robbie Katter says unemployment is the higher priority for his party, being the 'root cause for a lot of social problems' in rural areas.
KAP state leader Robbie Katter says unemployment is the higher priority for his party, being the 'root cause for a lot of social problems' in rural areas.

KAP wants outback jobs in return for lockout law support

IF THE Queensland Government wants Katter's Australian Party to support proposed lockout laws they will have to deal with skyrocketing unemployment in the bush, drug abuse in entertainment precincts and consider a transition period for some areas.

KAP state leader Robbie Katter said unemployment was at 15.1% in outback Queensland - three times that of the rest of the state and needed to be addressed.

He said high unemployment was a cause of violence the communities the KAP represented. Mr Katter and Shane Knuth met with Queensland Premier on Monday afternoon to discuss the proposed laws.

The government's laws would see last drinks at 2am - except in designated entertainment precincts where pubs could apply for last drinks at 3am if a lockout begins at 1am.

Mr Katter said stopping alcohol-fuelled violence was not on the KAP's agenda but they would be "negligent" not to put their major concerns to the premier in negotiations.

"The fact that unemployment in the outback is at 15.1%, almost three times the average of what it is around the rest of Queensland, which is the root cause for a lot of the social problems we experience," he said.

"Now the lockout laws don't make a huge difference to Shane and my electorates but this (unemployment) does."

Mr Knuth said they were negotiating with Ms Palaszczuk for a transition period for when the laws come into place for some areas in northern Queensland.

Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker said the government's proposed laws were not wide ranging enough to be effective.

He said the LNP had not met with the KAP MPs but the opposition continued to support the Newman-government's proposal which included safe havens, ID scanning and entertainment precinct laws.

"We had a very broad suite of policies to deal with alcohol-fuelled violence in our Safe Night Out strategy," he said.

But Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the LNP's opposition to the bill was due to "politics getting in the way of good policy".

The laws are expected to be debated in parliament this week. - APN NEWSDESK



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