What are the Safe Night Precincts in Queensland all about?
Everyone wants a safe night out. Most people don’t go out at night looking to start a fight, get punched, and be harmed. What’s most of us want is an enjoyable, fun evening.
Unfortunately, alcohol can sometimes fuel violence in less responsible people. And when this happens, everyone loses. Sometimes laws are passed that require clubs and pubs to close early, and no one likes that.
But Queensland thinks it has a solution to alcohol-related violence in the nightlife. Unveiled early this month (October, 2014), the Queensland Safe Night Out Strategy has been carefully organized and planned to incisively reduce alcohol-related violence.
A major part of this strategy is the creation of Safe Night Precincts in Queensland. But what exactly are Safe Night Precincts?
The Safe Night Precincts allow the Queensland Safe Night Out Strategy to be managed on a local level. By creating local management boards, it is easier to keep the Queensland Safe Night Out Strategy strong throughout the state as a whole.
Who chairs these management board? It’s most often local liquor licensees, local business owners, and members of an area’s Chamber of Commerce. Together, they collaborate to make sure that the Queensland Safe Night Out Strategy is working at its best.
There are a total of 15 Safe Night Out Precincts, or 15 main entertainment areas. The Safe Night Out Precincts are supposed to carry out different initiatives to curb alcohol-related violence in Queensland. For example, these precincts will focus on creating better transportation services for patrons. Since most patrons in Queensland feel that walking home at night is most dangerous – compared to other ways of transportation – it’s important that easy – but safe – transportation is provided.
In line with this, the Safe Night Out Precincts will start an awareness campaign that lets patrons know about the availability and safety of public transportation. Further, these precincts will receive funding so that taxi services can be more readily available to patrons returning from a bar, pub, or club.
Other initiatives include additional bus services – especially for Friday and Saturdays – and on more routes. Finally, a number of entertainment venues in these precincts will be required to use ID scanning systems to more effectively combat alcohol-related violence. Since these ID scanners are networked, it becomes an easy matter to ban someone guilty of anti-social behaviour from all entertainment spots. Queensland ID scanners will thus become a technological force to drastically reduce anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related violence in the state.
Although the Queensland Safe Night Out Strategy has only recently been implemented, it will be interesting to see what develops. How soon can we start expecting to see positive results? This, of course, is difficult to answer, especially since the strategy is only in its infancy. However, hopes are high for the action plan. And while the different initiatives in the Queensland Safe Night Out Strategy cost more than $40 million, this could be a valuable investment. With far less violence – and fewer medical bills, for example – this strategy just might end up saving Queensland a lot of money.