LEAPS coordinator Sergeant Paul Bennett with Ginger Mule manager Hamish Hughes
LEAPS coordinator Sergeant Paul Bennett with Ginger Mule manager Hamish Hughes Chris Ison

Late traders are worried over Queensland lockout laws

HAMISH Hughes says every late trader in Queensland would have to be worried about the lockout laws that were passed in parliament last week.

The Queensland Government's controversial lockout laws passed through the parliament after the government struck a bargain with Katter's Australian Party.

Under the deal those found guilty of drug offences will also be banned from nightclub precincts.

"Last drinks" will be held at 2am from July this year and 1am lockouts in entertainment zones will be introduced next year.

But Hamish, who manages the Ginger Mule and is the president of the Rockhampton Safe Night precinct, said it was already a tough market, with less business income and less money for wages.

"Look at how many pubs and hotels have closed down in the last 18 months," he said.

"You only have to look at what has happened down in Sydney, the government has destroyed an industry down there.

"It can be very busy after 2am, I know that there were around 800 people still inside The Zodiac and The Giddy Goat at 3am last Saturday night.

"These people usually slowly disperse and make their way to food vendors and the cabs between 3am and 5am. When we start closing at 3am, there will be a lot of people on the street all trying to compete for food and taxis."

While Hamish said violence was a concern, he didn't think it was fair to place the blame on all drinkers.

"Drinking is not a new thing, 5am trading has been happening for a long time. I think that drugs are a big part of the problem," he said.

"I don't think closing venues at 3am is the solution, I think that the government is now punishing everybody because of a few bad people."