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Viral party planners face hefty penalties under new laws

The aftermath of an out of control New Years Eve party.
The aftermath of an out of control New Years Eve party. AAP-Paola Bacchia

PARTY planners take notice.

Punishments for those guilty of organising "Facebook parties" which degenerate into out-of-control mayhem will face hefty fines or even jail, under new laws put before State Parliament this week.

The State Government proposal will target suburban parties, after recent much-publicised incidents which have seen needless violence and property damage occur as a result of parties that get out of hand, thanks to the advent of social media.

The key is for us to become aware of a party early.

Gladstone Police Patrol Inspector Darren Somerville said while they had not seen an increase in incidents in town since New Year's Eve, there were a number of things residents could do when planning a private party, to ensure the safety of themselves and their property from gatecrashers.

"The key is for us to become aware of a party early," Insp Somerville said.

"It's resource intensive once it's out of control and when something's out of control, we don't have control and officer safety is paramount."

He reiterated police were more than happy to see people enjoy themselves, as long as other people or property weren't affected when parties spiralled out of control.

Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon urged private-party organisers to log their event with the Party Safe registry early, to enable officers to be prepared to provide assistance and monitor the party.

Penalties

  • Organisers, parents of organisers or gatecrashers face up to 12 months jail or $12,100 fine
  • If police face violent or aggravated situations, organisers may face up to three years jail and $18,150

Party crackdown could be overkill

WHILE the State Government continues its sweeping legislative reforms, the crackdown on out-of-control parties may be premature, with local party hire experts saying they haven't had many dramas with party hosts.

MV Party Hire Gladstone operations manager Callan Buchholz said they had not had too many problems when it came to equipment returns, especially in the aftermath of the hectic Christmas party period.

"No we haven't had much trouble in Gladstone. Statistically about one chair is going to break every 10 hires, but I wouldn't say any product has had substantial damage," Mr Buchholz said.

He said the party scene in Gladstone tended to follow retail trends.

MV Party Hire store manager Annabell Green said there were simple contingencies in place to protect the business, such as agreements requiring payment for damaged goods.

"We do a lot of corporate parties, but last year the parties weren't as big, as companies have had to become a bit more responsible for alcohol consumption and other things," she said.

PARTY TIME: Annabell Green of MV Party Hire says that corporate parties are a major part of what they cater for.
PARTY TIME: Annabell Green of MV Party Hire says that corporate parties are a major part of what they cater for. Luka Kauzlaric

Topics:  facebook gladstone crime out of control parties queensland government



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