Rumaz owner Mark Vakauta with the security monitor.
Rumaz owner Mark Vakauta with the security monitor. Alistair Brightman

Rumour is curfew works

WITH an hour less drinking time under their belts, the patrons at Rumaz Niteclub are now showing up less drunk.

And this is exactly what the Hervey Bay club’s owners, Sarah and Mark Vakauta, were hoping would happen when they brought the curfew time back from 1am to midnight at the start of the year.

“The majority of people are there before 12am and we’ve noticed that their intoxication levels are lower as well,” Ms Vakauta said.

“So that one hour less of drinking before they get there really makes a difference.”

The Vakautas have targeted alcohol-fuelled violence with the move to get people into the Pialba club and off the streets earlier in the night.

And in just the first two weeks of the year, their plan appears to be working.

“It’s been going really well,” Ms Vakauta said of the earlier lockout time, which came into effect on January 1.

With the patrons turning up less drunk, there seemed to be fewer incidents inside and outside the club, she said.

The move was meant to be a trial but the couple is already so pleased with the results the midnight curfew is likely to stay.

“I don’t think we’ve turned anyone away since we’ve had the new curfew,” she said.

“And as long as people are there in the line and waiting at 12am, it’s fine.

“It might just take a bit longer to process them, that’s all.”

Ms Vakauta said she understood that some people, including those who worked in restaurants and bars, would not be able to arrive before the midnight curfew but she was not about to give them a hard time.

“If people who work in hospitality want to come between 12am and 1am, then that’s fine.”

Revellers in general also seemed pleased to be able to arrive earlier and not have to worry they would be the only ones there.

“I actually think everyone’s happier.

“The locals have been really great. We even had someone call up at about 10 minutes to midnight the other night to say they were running late and were just waiting for a taxi.”

More than $10,000 worth of security cameras has also been installed at the club following an incident in which a bottle was allegedly thrown at someone on the dance floor. The matter is being investigated by police.

“We now have 24 cameras instead of eight,” Ms Vakauta said. “But we only had that one incident on New Year’s Eve and we had just under 900 people through the doors.”

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