Queensland Premier Campbell Newman wants fatal punch thugs locked up for life but won’t consider early closing times for nightclubs.
Thugs who throw a fatal punch face a life sentence in Queensland.
But Premier Campbell Newman has ruled out copying the NSW approach of early closing times for nightclubs and pubs in a bid to curb alcohol-fuelled violence.
Mr Newman introduced legislation on Friday creating a new offence of “unlawful striking causing death”.
Offenders will face maximum life imprisonment and be required to serve 80 per cent of their sentence behind bars.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said a spate of fatal punches warranted the changes, adding Queensland’s legislation would have fewer loopholes than recent NSW mandatory sentencing laws.
“We’ve had too many deaths on the Sunshine Coast and right around Queensland,” he told reporters.
But Mr Newman disagreed with early pub closing times adopted in the NSW city of Newcastle and in some parts of Sydney.
“You need to go and have a look at the stats: changing the hours has not worked at all,” he told reporters.
“In fact, the most recent crime figures … show that there are more incidences now of violent assaults occurring on the streets.”
The chairman of the Queensland Coalition for Action on Alcohol, Jake Najman, slammed the government’s focus on tougher penalties instead of earlier closing times.
“When people are intoxicated, they aren’t sitting there thinking about the size of the penalties they’re going to incur if they engage in violent or anti-social behaviour,” he told AAP.
Violent and antisocial offenders face stiffer penalties for obstructing police, assaulting public officials, creating a public nuisance, refusing to leave a licensed premises, failing to obey a move-on order and urinating in public.
ID scanners will also be compulsory at venues trading after midnight.
This week’s Queensland budget set aside $44 million for the Safe Night Out plan.