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Queensland To Scrap 1am Lockout, After Report Finds No Noticeable Drop In Assaults

ID scanners will be introduced to 'safe night precincts' instead.

23/01/2017 7:39 PM AEDT | Updated 23/01/2017 8:13 PM AEDT
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The 1am lockout, which was set to be enforced next week, has been scrapped.

The Queensland Government has backed away from introducing the 1am lockout in bars and nightclubs, instead introducing mandatory ID scanners across Safe Night Precincts in July.

The 1am lockout, which was set to come into force next week, was scrapped after the state cabinet discussed a report evaluating the first six months of the government's laws -- similar to Sydney's -- which aim to curb alcohol-fuelled violence.

The current legislation bans the service of alcohol past 2am across the state, while establishments in the Safe Night Precincts can serve patrons for another hour with last drinks called at 3am. Shots are banned after midnight.

The report, conducted by Deakin University's Institute for Social Science Research, showed there was little difference in the rate of alcohol-fuelled violence across the state or in Safe Night Precincts, prompting Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to hold the cabinet meeting and announce the 1am lockout would be scrapped.

Mandatory ID scanners will now be required in all Safe Night Precincts.

The state government is also halving the number of one-off permits for venues, which allow the service of alcohol past 3am.

Venues will only be granted permits for special events, and at most once a month.

On Monday evening, Premier Palaszczuk said lockout laws alone do not work, while reducing the number of hours for alcohol service did.

"All the evidence in Australia and around the world suggests the most effective measure to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence is to reduce the number of hours that alcohol is served after midnight," the Premier said.

"It's disappointing the systematic use of these permits has clouded the impact of our new laws; some venues have been using the extended 5am trading as business-as-usual.

"We won't allow that to continue, and will make this reduced number of permits available only for genuinely special events," the Premier said.

The report adds fuel to the outrage over Sydney's lockout laws, after a Keep Sydney Open rally was cancelled by authorities -- through court action at NSW Supreme Court -- last week, over fear the crowds would be too big.

About 100 peaceful protesters congregated in Kings Cross on Saturday night in a bid to Occupy Kings Cross.

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