POLL: Will your drinking habits change on July 1?

CHANGES: Chris Bonanno believes working together to implement the lockout laws will be the most effective way of promoting positive change. Kelsie Iorio

NEW laws to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence are set for their first test in Mackay this weekend, with a variety of restrictions taking effect tonight.

Will lock-out laws significantly impact your drinking habits?

This poll ended on 02 July 2016.

Current Results

Yes

12%

No

87%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The laws include venues inside Safe Night precincts being unable to serve alcohol after 3am, venues outside these precincts unable to serve alcohol after 2am, and drinks like shots will no longer be served after midnight.

Lockout laws do not come into effect until February 1, 2017. From that date no patrons will be able to enter or re-enter a licensed venue between the hours of 1am and 3am in Safe Night precincts.

Mackay City Safe Committee member Chris Bonanno said venue owners and other city centre workers needed to collaborate to achieve constructive changes from the new laws.

"I know there's two sides to this story, some people are for this event happening, and some people are against the event," Mr Bonanno said.

"I believe that all the bodies involved, being the state registry bodies as well as those people that are stakeholders in the city centre, all need to work together to make this outcome a positive outcome for the safety of our city."

Cartel nightclub manager Shane Finnegan believes the new laws will do more harm than good.

"I think the problem here is the people making these laws are in bed by 9pm and have no understanding of what goes on after that," Mr Finnegan said.

"Ever since they chose to do this at Kings Cross, I've said that the solution should be to have security providers patrolling these areas between the places where the incidents occur within the hours they're occurring."

Owner of the recently renovated Palace Hotel and long-time nightclub and pub owner Gary Choy agrees that some venues' lack of security is part of the problem.

"There's too many operators who aren't switched on and don't want to stop the trouble before it starts, they just don't have enough security on," Mr Choy said.

He believes instead of restricting patrons through lockouts and denying them certain beverages, liquor licensing laws should be changed to add more security.

"If the venues were safer we might get more people in town as well," he said.

Previously, popular nightclubs have closed at different times throughout the early hours of the morning.

With changes to laws and trading times starting today, all nightclubs will close at once, causing a rush of people hitting the streets of the city centre simultaneously.

"Dumping everyone out on the street all at once at 3am isn't the answer to preventing street violence," Mr Finnegan said.

"(Lockout laws) will create massive lines at taxi ranks and lines at food outlets, which will cause frustration."

Mr Finnegan said the new laws were expected to spark a rise in unsupervised house parties to combat the time and alcohol restrictions, which due to lack of security may result in a higher risk of violence and injury.

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert issued a statement saying that many people in Mackay were, in fact, in favour of the changes to legislation.

"Response from the community has been mixed but mostly positive," Ms Gilbert's statement read.

An independent review of the new laws will be carried out from July 2018.



Voting opens on bcu merger

Voting opens on bcu merger

Members can expect reduced fees and improved services.

REVEALED: Student to teacher ratios in our classrooms

premium_icon REVEALED: Student to teacher ratios in our classrooms

Coffs Coast schools with most crowded and best resourced classrooms.

'Cult' leader issues 'unreserved' apology to blogger

premium_icon 'Cult' leader issues 'unreserved' apology to blogger

UM leader brought a defamation case against a blogger in 2015