Electorate Office Address
1 Paradise Ave,
Miami QLD 4220
Mr HART (Burleigh—LNP) (3.21 pm): I rise to add to the debate on the Police and Other Legislation (Identity and Biometric Capability) Amendment Bill. I congratulate the member for Lytton for speaking about the bill, unlike the heavy hitter from Stretton who, unfortunately, is not going to hear my speech—
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Kelly): Member for Burleigh, you will not continue in that vein, because that is not in the long title of the bill. I bring you back to the long title of the bill.
Mr HART: The member for Stretton spoke for seven minutes and did not mention the bill once.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Burleigh, I am not debating the point, thank you.
Mr HART: I intend to speak about the bill. The Commonwealth Games has not come on just in the past couple of days or months. It has been coming on for a long time. When the LNP was in government, we started the process of building the Commonwealth Games village, as well as most of the venues on the Gold Coast. Therefore, it is strange that this government keeps taking the credit for those things happening on time.
The bill puts in place a number of serious things that are needed for the Commonwealth Games to occur. Identity matching services are one of those things. It is something that we have all come across in the past. Identity fraud is a big problem. Having access to photographs that are part of the licence procedure nowadays will absolutely help. I commend that part of the bill to the House.
The bill deals with limitations in the Criminal Code with respect to homemade explosives. Last year or the year before in Brisbane, homemade explosives—I am not sure what they actually were—severely injured some people. Therefore, we need to ensure that the Criminal Code is up to speed when those sorts of events happen.
The biggest changes in the bill that impact my part of the world are the changes to the liquor licensing laws. Mr Deputy Speaker, as you know I am from Burleigh, which is a very active area of the Gold Coast. As the shadow minister said in his contribution, during the Commonwealth Games a lot of people are going to come to the Gold Coast. I think he mentioned we will have 690,000 unique visitors. We are expecting 15,000 volunteers. Some of those volunteers will come from the Gold Coast and some will come from Brisbane and further away. Some 6,600 athletes will attend the games. Those people will want to do something at night after they have been to the games, competed in their events or done their volunteering stints. It would be nice to see the Gold Coast opened up to those people.
In a very short period, people from all over the world will visit the Gold Coast. People will come to the Gold Coast from about 70 countries. They will want to enjoy the atmosphere of the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast is known for its night-life. Those people will not be able to go out and enjoy themselves at night, even though the G:link will be operating 24 hours a day. It will be available to carry people around the Gold Coast, but they will not be able to go into most of the Gold Coast clubs to enjoy themselves. Under this legislation, they will be able to go only to the safe night precincts in Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise. Up and down the coast buses will be running 24 hours a day. Obviously the government thinks people will be out and about at all times of the night, but our restaurants and bars will not be open for those people to enjoy themselves. Not everybody goes to a bar to get drunk, to misbehave or to cause trouble.
Mr Watts: Most people.
Mr HART: Most people go out at night to be social, to mix with their friends and relatives and, in the case of the Commonwealth Games, to mix with other athletes, volunteers and visitors from overseas. Trains will be running for extended hours to link up with G:link and will carry people all over the place.
Therefore, it was a little surprising that on 10 February the Minister for the Commonwealth Games issued this press release, a copy of which I will table for the benefit of the House. -001 PAGE: 2
Tabled paper: Media release, dated 10 February 2018, by the Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, and Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Hon. Kate Jones, and the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Hon. Yvette D’Ath, titled ‘Restaurants and clubs to get extended hours at Games time’.
The press release was issued not that long ago. The press release states, ‘all 162 licensed cafes and restaurants on the Gold Coast will be able to serve alcohol until 1am or 2am during the Games’. It further states—
“Giving all venues an extra hour liquor trading will allow more local businesses to make the most of our biggest event this decade,” Ms Jones said.
That is what the minister said. What has changed? I totally agree with her that there is an opportunity for the Gold Coast people who run those venues to benefit from the extra trade over that period. The press release continues quoting the minister—
We’ve consulted with tourism chiefs and City of Gold Coast, listened to local businesses and heeded community concerns and believe we’ve found the perfect balance for Games time.
That relates to the 162 licensed cafes and restaurants that were to open, allowing people to come through their doors to socialise. However, all of a sudden apparently we have changed our mind, because that is not what this legislation does. For the benefit of the member for Stretton, that is why the LNP opposition is raising this matter while not opposing the bill. We would like to see it expanded to every part of the Gold Coast, to give every opportunity to people—
Mr WATTS: It is 1,200 licences.
Mr HART: There are 1,200 licensed venues on the Gold Coast, as the shadow minister says. The 10 February press release also quoted the Attorney-General on the subject of ID scanners. If a club extends its hours for one hour, it has to extend any ID scanner requirements that apply to that particular venue. Many times in this place we have spoken about how the rollout of the ID scanning regulation was messed up by the government. The press release quotes the Attorney-General as saying that GOLDOC accreditation passes will be accepted in venues as they would be recognised as sufficient ID to enter licensed premises in the safe night out precincts. Apparently, that is what will happen there.
We would have to think that if Goldoc accreditation passes are to be an accepted form of ID then possibly the government thinks that people holding these IDs are going to be going out. Those people are not going to be able to go down to Coolangatta, Currumbin, Nobby Beach, Miami or Burleigh Heads. They will have to stick to the safe night out precincts because these place will not be open.
Mr Power interjected.
Mr HART: I am not taking interjections from the cheap seats.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Kelly): Member for Logan, he is not taking your interjections.
Mr HART: Apparently the Attorney-General also thinks that those people coming from overseas—coming from some 70-odd different countries—for our wonderful Commonwealth Games, that we on the Gold Coast are all excited about, need to carry their passports with them. I am not sure that is a crash hot idea, but apparently they will not be able to get into some of these venues if they do not do that. We saw that with some sailors in Cairns who were refused entry to some clubs up there. There was the instance of some soldiers in Rockhampton who were told they could not get into a nightclub or pub there. Then we had the instance involving Prince Frederik, one of the most popular royals in the world, who was not allowed into a venue.
Mrs D’Ath interjected.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Attorney-General, the member for Burleigh has the call.
Mr Power interjected.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Logan, the member for Burleigh has the call.
Mr HART: The question is what happened between 10 February when this press release, that I have tabled, came out saying that all 162 licensed cafes and restaurants would be allowed to open—