GOLD Coasters will be able to enjoy a safer night out from today as Australia’s most comprehensive strategy to tackle alcohol related violence is rolled out across the state.
State Member for Brisbane Central Robert Cavallucci MP announced the $44.5 million strategy will be overseen by an implementation panel made up of community leaders and industry experts.
“Having a night out with friends or family is a great way to unwind on the weekend and under our strong plan, entertainment precincts will now be a lot safer,” Mr Cavallucci said.
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“We consulted extensively with the community and delivered a strategy that will help put an end to the drunken and drug fuelled violence.”
Key elements of the Safe Night Out Strategy include:
- Changing the culture – by conducting awareness campaigns to promote responsible behaviour and by making school based alcohol and drug education programs available every year, to every Queensland student in years 7 to 12
- Changing the law – by increasing police powers, licensing and penalties including mandatory community service orders and compulsory alcohol and drug counselling to make it clear bad behaviour won’t be tolerated
- Changing the environment – providing safe and supportive spaces through initiatives such as the establishment of up to 15 Safe Night Out Precincts across Queensland, a trial of ‘sober safe centres’ in the Brisbane CBD and improved transport arrangements.
Mr Cavallucci said he was thrilled to chair a panel that would be responsible in making positive and lasting changes to Queensland’s drinking culture.
“The panel will play a critical role in the success of achieving this ambitious task and I am very pleased with the calibre of people,” he said.
“I’m particularly pleased the panel will include Mitchell Giles of Lives Lived Well who provide outstanding drug and alcohol counselling services and Lance Mergard who already for many years has been watching out for our young people and making our streets safer right across Queensland.
“We will be continuing to engage with the community as we roll out this strategy and provide formal six and twelve month progress reports.
“We are committed to making Queensland the safest state for families and I believe we are on the right track to achieving this.”
The Safe Night Out Strategy implementation panel members include:
- Robert Cavallucci, Member for Brisbane Central (Chair)
- Mitchell Gilles, CEO, Lives Lived Well
- Lance Mergard, Night Watch/Night Safe
- Greg Hallam, Executive Director, Local Government Association of Queensland
- Justin O’Connor, Chief Executive, Queensland Hotels Association
- Nick Braban, Representative of Liquor Accords
- Gavin King MP, State Member for Cairns, Assistant Minister for Tourism
- Trevor Watts MP, State Member for Toowoomba
A copy of the ‘Safe Night Out Strategy’ is available at www.qld.gov.au/safenightout