News

One punch gets thugs banned from ALL Maryborough pubs

A MARYBOROUGH nightclub has put patrons on notice letting the public know they will not stand for any display of violence at the hotel.

Revellers have been warned if they throw a punch or are violent, even in self-defence, they will be promptly removed and banned for a minimum of six months.

But not just from one pub - from all pubs under the liquor accord.

Criterion Nightclub and Bar owner Brendan Heit announced the new rules on Thursday night in response to two high-profile violent incidents in Queensland pubs.

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The first was the tragic death of water polo player Cole Miller in Brisbane, after a coward-punch from behind.

The second, a woman who was allegedly punched in the head by a man outside a pub in Mt Isa.

Maryborough is no stranger to alcohol-fuelled violence.

Clay Cleveland was brutally bashed to death by Simeon Frederick George Blair on May 1, 2012 after the pair had been drinking together.

Blair's appeal against his life sentence was upheld in December last year.

It is incidents like these Mr Heit hopes to avoid in the future.

"People are just not getting the message and by doing this it raises awareness of the issue," Mr Heir said.

Under Liquor Accord Maryborough Precinct rules anyone displaying violence can be banned from a venue.

Mr Heit said he felt it was important to expand that ban to all licensed venues.

"I think if each individual venue impresses harsher penalties we have a safer area," he said.

Mr Heit said he felt the threat of an all-venue ban would be more effective than the state government's new laws requiring no service of shots after midnight and a 2am lockout.

"These measures aren't going to solve the problem, they are going to move it to a different time and place," he said.

Hervey Bay Liquor Accord chairman and Torquay Hotel owner Darren Carter said he was supportive of Mr Heit's idea.

"It's up to the premises," he said.

Mr Carter said behaviour in Hervey Bay was improving and the majority had been "well behaved" over the Christmas period.

Wide Bay Burnett District Acting Superintendent Paul Biggin said police worked closely with the management of hotels and liquor accords in the region.

"At this stage we have noticed no increase in the levels of alcohol-fuelled violence," he said.

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said he was supportive of any efforts by pubs and clubs to crack down on violence.

Mr Saunders said after viewing the results from other areas such as Newcastle he believed the state government's lockout laws would be effective.

Topics:  crime, maryborough, nightclub, revellers



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