Protest Rally Over Nightclub Hours

A rowdy rally took place outside the state Parliament building in Brisbane, Australia, to protest plans to close nightclubs and music venues early.

A parliamentary committee is looking at alcohol-related violence in the city’s entertainment areas. The Queensland Police Union, aided by the Royal College of Surgeons and the Ambulance service, recommended to the inquiry that closing pubs at midnight and nightclubs at 2 a.m. would curb violence.

Lobby group Queensland Locked Out, which organised the “Reclaim the Nightlife” rally, argued that early closures would hit the clubs financially, as they make most of their money after midnight.

Lobby spokesman Zach Salar – fearing that such moves would only “destroy the culture of our great State” – pressed for solutions including harsher penalties for “the 1 percent of offenders,” increased police numbers in entertainment precincts and working with club licensees on the introduction of ID scanners.

Although 15,000 music fans joined a Facebook cause supporting the rally, only 500 attended the event.

This was in contrast to a similar rally held in Melbourne where 20,000 marched the streets, causing the authorities to dilute new liquor license rules that increased costs for club owners.