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Powell Media Release – Strong reforms ensure a Safe Night Out in Glass House (11 June 2014)

Glass House families will be able to enjoy a safe night out following the Government’s introduction of a comprehensive package of reforms designed to end alcohol and drug-related violence.

Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell MP, said the Government was delivering on its strong plan to end senseless deaths and violence.

“The community told me and the Government that they’d had enough. The violence has to stop,” Mr Powell said.

“The Safe Night Out Strategy is the most comprehensive plan of its kind in the country and it is about getting our community involved in changing the drinking culture in Queensland.

“The Government promised Queenslanders that it would revitalise frontline services, build a four pillar economy and make this state the safest place to raise a family and these reforms are our strong plan to ensure our area is a fun and safe place to live and visit for families.”

Key elements of the strategy include:

•               Compulsory drug and alcohol education in Queensland schools from Years 7 to 12.

•               A new offence of “unlawful striking causing death”, which will carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and require the offender to serve 80 per cent of his or her prison sentence

•               Increased penalties for other violent and antisocial offences such as serious assault of public officers, public nuisance, refusing to leave a licensed premises, obstructing police, failing to obey a move-on order and urinating in public

•               Empowering police to issue banning orders and ensuring police have the resources to have a presence and ability to respond quickly to alcohol and drug related violence

•               Stronger and better co-ordinated action to ensure licensees provide a safe environment and comply with liquor licensing rules, including ‘mystery shopper’ style tests

•               An awareness campaign, including advertising, to promote clear standards of responsible behaviour for patrons, licensees and police

•               An extension of the moratorium on decisions about late night trading hours to 31 August 2014 to allow the measures in the action plan to be established and take effect.

•               Giving local Councils the right to veto Adult Entertainment license applications

Mr Powell said that the Sunshine Coast would also be home to one of 15 Safe Night Precincts.

“The new Night Safe Precinct will ensure our popular nightspots have coordinated prevention and support initiatives in place to keep patrons safe.

“Venues trading after midnight in the precinct will be required to have ID scanners, which will allow them to effectively ban unruly patrons from any venue in the area.”

Mr Powell said the Strategy had been backed by $44.5 million funding injection in this year’s State Budget.

“The Government is committed to the preservation of our diverse and vibrant nightlife. The overwhelming majority of Queenslanders do the right thing when they go out and the Government wants people to be safe and enjoy themselves,” he said.

“The Safe Night Out Strategy is all about protecting Queenslanders and all that is great in our wonderful nightlife.”

ENDS- 11 June 2014

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