Harry Dean and Beth McCarron say Rockhampton is a good place to party. They welcome moves to get rid of violent thugs.
Harry Dean and Beth McCarron say Rockhampton is a good place to party. They welcome moves to get rid of violent thugs. Allan Reinikka

Thugs to be banned from pubs

REVELLERS Harry Dean and Beth McCarron love partying in Rockhampton, but feel a small group of thugs give the city's nightlife an ugly side.

Yesterday, the pair backed a move to introduce a barring system at Rockhampton venues where if someone gets barred from one place, they're barred from them all.

The plan is aimed at weeding out the thugs ruining things for everyone and is the brainchild of the Rockhampton Liquor Industry Action Group, which includes police, liquor licence officers and hotel managers.

It's hoped the scheme will be up and running within a couple of weeks.

Alcohol-fuelled violence has been in the spotlight recently as the Queensland Government threatens to crack down on places where problems have occurred and a Rockhampton councillor is pushing for tougher licensing laws.

The Rockhampton scheme will be similar, but not the same, as one at Yeppoon.

Last month The Morning Bulletin reported 43 people were barred from Yeppoon venues, with six of these excluded for life.

This week officer in charge of Rockhampton police station Senior Sergeant Mel Adams said about 10 people were expected to be on the barred list in Rockhampton.

“This is aimed at recidivist offenders, the serious offenders who create serious disruptions to licensees,” Senior Sergeant Adams said.

“The majority of places will be identifying the same people who repeatedly do the same sorts of offences.”

She said the plan wasn't targeted at those who went out and did something they regretted after a drink too many.

She said the scheme would enable those targeted for barring to appeal the decision to a committee of licensees.

This would minimise accusations of personal victimisation against particular venues.

It will be optional for venues to be involved, but strong support has been registered, particularly among the managers of CBD venues.

Harry, who was out celebrating his birthday yesterday, is an English backpacker enjoying a few months in Rockhampton with his partner Beth.

Decked out in their party gear the pair said they had been out quite a few times in Rockhampton and had enjoyed what was on offer.

Except for a few fights.

“We've seen some fights, including one involving quite a few people,” Harry said.

“That's the same as England though.

“Getting rid of those people who provide the problems is a good move.”

He said a similar system operated in his home town, Swindon, which had been relatively successful.

The move comes after the Queensland Government last week identified six venues in the Rockhampton region where it claims an incident involving a glass has occurred in the past year.

This ratio was far higher than for the rest of the state.

The Government is threatening these venues with glass bans.

Rockhampton Councillor Rose Swadling has also said she would present a motion to council to back a move for tougher liquor licensing conditions across the region.

What's being done to stop alcohol-fuelled violence:

• A new system where someone who is barred from one venue is barred from all Rockhampton venues who sign on. Set to be introduced in the next fortnight;

• A push for uniform liquor licensing conditions for all operators in Rockhampton who operate past 1am. Rockhampton councillor will take to the table;

• The Queensland Government is considering stopping venues where an incident involving a glass has occurred in the past year from serving drinks in glasses;

• A parliamentary inquiry into alcohol-related violence has been set up. Submissions close on Friday, October 23. For more information, call 3406 7307 or emailljsc@parliament.qld.gov .au.


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