Bar veteran slams ID scans as ‘un-Australian’
NEW compulsory nightclub ID scanning is pointless and "un-Australian" if it keeps a 10pm start and casinos stay exempt, a Glitter Strip veteran believes.
Casino venues at the Star's Broadbeach property are not required to scan patron IDs despite it being compulsory a few blocks away for venues in Broadbeach's Safe Night Precinct (SNP).
As of Saturday, bars staying open in SNPs like Surfers and Broadbeach after midnight must scan patron IDs from 10pm. The Government-approved scanners are linked to a statewide database which redflags people with police or court-ordered bar bans and individual venue bans.
Craig Duffy, the longtime owner of Hollywood Showgirls in Surfers Paradise, said attempting to block undesirables was a good idea but he was unconvinced it would work.
"I find the ID scanners operating only after 10pm ludicrous. Even undesirable banned patrons own a watch and will work out 'Hey, I can get in if I'm out before 10pm'."
The casino exemption from scanning was "government favouritism" and another example of the new liquor laws' "unfair playing field", he said.
The casino is also not bound by new 3am last drinks rules.
"It should be the same rules for all, it's un-Australian," Mr Duffy said.
The Saturday night launch of ID scanning caused delays at Glitter Strip venues which reported Canadian, US and Kiwi IDs not being compatible. Details of affected customers had to be entered manually, creating frustration among queuing patrons.
He said compulsory scanning from 10pm was an effort to balance "operational convenience and harm minimisation".
"However licensees are well within their rights to scan IDs or refuse entry to patrons for disruptive, violent or illegal behaviour at other times."
Police and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath hailed the launch a success, calling ID incompatibility problems "teething issues". Of 89,600 IDs scanned across Queensland on Saturday night, seven showed up as redflagged patrons, including four in Surfers Paradise and two in Brisbane.
Surfers Paradise Opposition MP John-Paul Langbroek said the botched launch with common foreign IDs not scanning was "typical Labor".
"Labor doesn't get the Gold Coast, they have no members here and there is no consideration of the tourism perspective which is very frustrating for our operators," he said.