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Nightclub manager says curfew won’t stop street violence

Aodhan McCann, manager at Bojangles Nightclub, has concerns over proposed changes to curfew times.
Aodhan McCann, manager at Bojangles Nightclub, has concerns over proposed changes to curfew times. Luka Kauzlaric

AN EXPERT panel wants Queensland to impose earlier curfew times to curb alcohol-fuelled violence, but new Bojangles Nightclub manager Aodhan McCann says the proposal has big problems.

Mr McCann said the loss of income in cutback trading hours was of secondary concern to the potential for increased street violence if clubs were forced to boot all patrons out on to the streets at 3am.

"It's only an hour earlier on a Friday or Saturday night; the issues are more with dragging everyone out at the same time," he said.

"There's already a taxi issue now and it will just get worse."

Mr McCann said he felt a move in the other direction, extending opening hours until dawn, would produce better results.

"Unduly intoxicated people still get kicked out no matter what the time, but if they went through until sun-up people would drift off better rather than kicking them all out at the same time," the soon-to-be licensee of the popular Gladstone nightclub said.

"I honestly believe having everyone leave at the same time will lead to a worse problem."

Mr McCann is no stranger to dealing with late-night revellers - his family had owned the former Port Curtis Hotel for 11 years.

He said earlier curfew times would not just affect venues.

"It could bring about more people partying at home if they can't stay out long enough and that could stretch police resources thinner," he said.

"The idea is for people to start going out earlier, still drinking for the same amount of time, but starting earlier and finishing earlier."

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said while a decision was yet to be made; consultation would continue with stakeholders, with the goal of delivering a decision by the end of this year, after an expert panel had reviewed trading hours and lockout times.

"No decision has been made regarding trading hours in Queensland and I will continue to meet with industry bodies including liquor accords, licensees and community organisations as we work through the recommendations of the report," Mr Bleijie said.

Mr McCann believed one of the most effective ways of reducing alcohol-related violence in town was for businesses to take a stronger stance with staff, particularly FIFO industry workers, with hardline approaches like sackings for staff who were violent on a night out.

The Queensland Government is currently trialling Drink Safe precinct trials around the state.

Topics:  alcohol-fuelled crime, bojangles, gladstone cbd, nightclub, queensland government



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