New laws close clubs early
THIS weekend was the first out in Airlie Beach since the introduction of new licensing laws.
Coming into effect on July 1, the new laws prohibit consumption of shots after midnight - the sale of drinks containing more than 5% alcohol has also been banned after this time.
All alcohol sales have stopped after 2am unless the venue is in a safe night precinct, like Airlie Beach, which allows sales to continue until 3am.
Officer-in-charge at the Whitsunday Police Station, Senior Sergeant Nathan Blainn said the first weekend since the passing of the new laws went smoothly.
He said everyone seemed to understand the new laws and there were no major issues.
But Jasmin Lear of the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct said while out in Airlie Beach on the weekend she noticed confusion.
"People were asking 'when is lockout'," she said.
Ms Lear said venues were not being forced to close early just yet, but limits on alcohol sales effectively shut clubs down soon after 3am.
She said Mama Africa's night on Friday was done by 3.30am and this "essentially means staff wages will be cut by two hours".
Security guards, DJs and staff are going to miss out on that income, she added.
On the weekend there were extra buses to help people get home but they were not needed.