OPINION: Safe Night Out legislation is great first step

I SUPPORT the Palaszczuk government's Safe Night Out legislation as an important step towards combating binge drinking and alcohol-fuelled violence.

The initiatives, that include last drinks at 3am combined with a 1am one-way-door policy, will assist in reducing the number of assaults connected with excess alcohol consumption - but does it go far enough?

When you consider there are 30,000 people hospitalised because of alcohol-related conduct, the authorities really had to take action.

However while the numbers will go down, the drunken assaults won't stop.

These new laws are based on similar legislation in Newcastle where assaults dropped by up to 30%.

That is a good result but does this mean we can still accept 20,000 people to be treated in hospitals?

Is that an acceptable number?

I think not.

The one punch can kill message still needs to be rammed home and the courts need to be on board with backing the message through appropriate punishment and access to rehabilitation.

But you have to ask yourself if this was applied in Emerald last week when a man avoided jail time after he put someone in hospital with bleeding on the brain?

The magistrate warned him he had escaped spending time in prison by the "finest of margins" and only "time will tell" if he was truly remorseful for his actions.

Drunken thuggery remains an unacceptable social issue and while access to less alcohol in the early hours will assist in reducing the number of assaults, the need for effective public education and consistent delivery of justice are the other vital contributors.



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