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Full-strength Grog at Events Faces Axe in QLD

Full-strength grog faces axe in bid to curb violence | The Courier-Mail. Well, well. Bligh and her government are looking to ban full-strength booze at major events across the state. I do hope this doesn't pass. This will ruin the quality of a good time out for thousands of responsible Queenslanders (not that I believe at all that getting plastered is the means to have a good time at all).

The Courier-Mail reports that Queensland already has the toughest alcohol-related legislation in Australia. Maybe it is time for something else to change? NSW recently forced high-risk venues (determined by the number of reported assults per annum) to provide free food and water to patrons, but lock-outs were also brought back to 2am. I'm not sure about you, but I would rather give free food to my guests to keep them happy and enjoying my services at an event instead of removing all full-strength alcohol from my stock, even if a few hours had to be knocked off for new patrons. There must be other ways to solve social problems other than continuously banning things.

I do see a need to curb violence and drug-related incidents in Australia, but I hope that these new laws, should they come into effect, take into account the good behaviour displayed at the majority of events and venues across the state. One quarter of violence in Australia is related to alcohol; what will we blame the other three quarters on? Will televisions and cinemas be next? I've just done a "Aussies ban" search on Twitter... sponsorship from alcohol companies, bottled water, Uluru treks, a whole censorship debate rages on... then there's the national changes to cigarette prices and packaging. It seems we have no imagination when it comes to solving society's problems. India, for instance (and I love this!), is investigating doubling electricity in rural areas to increase the use of television; in a bid to slow overpopulation. Now that's creative!

Drinking in Australia has long been part of our culture. From a cosy glass of merlot in front of a crackling fire in the Blue Mountains to a cool beer after a hard day's work in Mt Isa. We have a long way to go before this is changed. There are a number of other factors that come into violence statistics, not just the crooners down at the local country town pub about to hit "an old mate" one for sleeping with the wrong young lady.

There is no denying that violence, disease and other ailments which gain the attention of governments all have a financial cost to the state. But these bans and tougher laws must stop when they cease to represent the community's stance, and only that of politicians.

New Year's Crime Crackdown in Victoria

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has told the working class of Australia to "bogan it up at home" if they intend on causing problems for the city's New Year's Eve plans.

Compared to Sydney's $5 million fireworks show, the $1 million Melbourne show will have two firework displays and various entertainment for the 500,000 expected attendees. Sniffer dogs will accompany 600 uniformed and plain-clothed police officers intent on keeping party-goers safe.

Ambulance Victoria operations manager Paul Holman assures of the 40 paramedics on duty for the event. "We have just one message. Look after yourselves, party hard, party safe, but look after your mates," Mr Holman said.

While Melbourne is enjoying the additional resources, coastal towns in the Mornington Peninsula and Bass Coast shires have had to make do with tightened liquor laws, expanding no-alcohol zones, increased fines for public drinking and police with rights to confiscate booze.

Oh, snap! Party safe, Victoria. I'm sick of seeing those terrible anti-binge drinking TV advertisements up here in Queensland.

And don't forget not to drink and drive; you're bad enough drivers sober.