WHAT do a prominent building firm responsible for a number of key Coast projects and the new, statewide lock out laws have in common?
Hutchinson Builders, developers of projects including Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sea Pearl Mooloolaba, Breeze Mooloolaba and Moko at Birtinya Island, through chairman Scott Hutchinson, are taking up the fight against the new, statewide lock out laws.
The south-east Queensland based building firm’s head is also the landlord of up-and-coming new Brisbane nightspot The Triffid, a venue not affected by the new legislation.
Mr Hutchinson said he takes a significant loss on that business venture all in th name of supporting the local live music scene, an industry he was passionate about protecting.
He said the lockout laws introduced, which will have significant impacts on Brisbane, the Gold Coast and will also affect trading hours of venues on the Coast were “puritanical” and primary school-like.
“Melbourne are laughing their heads off, they just can’t believe Sydney and Brisbane are so stupid,” Mr Hutchinson said.
Mr Hutchinson sits on the board of QMusic and said he couldn’t believe the laws had been introduced.
The effects are that venues outside of Safe Night Precincts will have to cease serving alcohol at 2am, while within the preicncts, from February next year, a 1am lockout will apply with venues to stop serving alcohol at 3am.
Mr Hutchinson, a self-confessed Labor supporter, said he’d had no luck trying to resolve the issue internally, so he was taking his protest public, happy to bankroll a campaign to see the laws unwound.
“It’s a generational thing. Young people like to go out later now,” he said.
“Not everyone works 9-5.
“I can’t believe young people are copping it.”
He said the State Government was “so far out of touch”, taking aim at Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham for his strong support of the legisaltion.
“It’s the people that don’t go out telling the people who do go out when they’ve got to go home,” Mr Hutchinson said.
“This is just collective punishment.
“If you get locked in a bar at 1am you’re not going to go out.
“It discriminates against everybody that’s doing the right thing and fewer and fewer people are bad. It’s primary school collective punishment.”
He said the legislation was “completely puritanical” and questioned why live music and late-night venues had to suffer while casinos were exempt from legislation.
The 56-year-old’s company has had an office on the Coast for more than 20 years. He said he felt the laws would hurt the Coast’s fledgling nightlife scene just as significant steps were being made to improve it.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the legislation had wide-ranging support and would provide a boost to Queensland’s cities and entertainment precincts, making them safer.
She pointed to research in Newcastle which showed a 22% reduction in assaults for every hour trading had decreased, while the number of assaults in the steel city fell by 67% between 3am-6am 18 months after similar legislation was introduced.
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