Reignite Our Nightlife & Hospitality Industries

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With the focus on reopening it’s time to give Brisbane the best possible chance for a swift economic recovery. Some of the hardest hit industries by Covid-19 are hospitality and nightlife which is why I am campaigning against the current lockout and last drinks laws. Everyone knows that ‘3am last drinks’ is a euphemism for ‘closing time’ as it is clearly unsustainable for venues to remain open till 5am when they cannot serve alcohol.

I will make the case with two main points. One, the economic benefits of allowing venues to trade (properly) till 5am. Two, the social /health benefits.

 

Economic benefits.

Giving venues an extra two hours to trade till 5am means an extra two hours to pay bartenders, security, djs, bands, managers, organisers, promoters, dancers and the many other jobs provided by the industry. Needless to say there are a lot of students who rely on this money to get themselves through university as well. There are some venues, especially clubs, that rely on late-night trade. People want to go to bars earlier and then to clubs later. This essentially means that these clubs have about 3 hours to make money (~12am-3am). Potentially they have 6 good hours of trading (Friday and Saturday nights) to make enough money to cover them being open from Thursday till Sunday. Relaxing these laws could see venues once again flourish.

 

Social & Health Benefits

With coronavirus in mind, allowing the public to go out till 5am also means we can potentially ‘spread out’ the amount of people going out. This mean some people might go out from 6pm-midnight, others might go out from 9pm-3am and other from midnight till 5am. This spreading out has clear benefits by minimising the overlap of crowds throughout the night. 

As a general point, the introduction of ID scanners at every venue now correctly addresses the troublemakers in nightlife precincts. Thus the people who cause trouble are targeted directly, and accordingly the Government should stop punishing the vast majority of people who are enjoying themselves responsibly. The ID scanners was a good move by the government, however it should have REPLACED the lockouts, curfews and last drinks laws instead of being ADDED to them.

Lastly there’s a significant cultural component to this. Since the introduction of lockouts and 3am closures the Fortitude Valley has taken a significant hit with many long-standing venues either struggling to stay open or closing entirely. Two hours of trading has made a bigger impact than I suspect the lawmakers accounted for. With Tourism being significantly hit by Coronavirus I would make the case that Brisbane needs to give itself every chance it can to attract people to see this wonderful city. Having a thriving and vibrant nightlife will be a key to creating an even more attractive city.

By signing this petition you are appealing to the Queensland Government to repeal the current lockout and last drinks laws. You are demanding that the vast majority of people who enjoy their nightlife responsibility are not penalised for the actions of the few. Reignite our nightlife and hospitality industries!

Thank you,

Patrick Arnold