Premier Mike Rann was trying to implement a lockout of Adelaide’s bars and clubs through the back door without introducing legislation into the Parliament.
Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, Rob Lucas, said today that for the last few weeks Mr Rann had been trying to get more than 100 bars and club licensees in the CBD to agree voluntarily to a 3am lockout with some exceptions from 1 July this year.
“I have been contacted by a number of licensees expressing anger and concern at what they believe is pressure from police to sign these voluntary lockout agreements,” Mr Lucas said.
“One licensee told me that police visited him late on Friday, then again on Monday morning and then again on Monday afternoon in an attempt to get a signed voluntary lockout agreement.”
This licensee said police told him:
• The lockout was going to happen;
• He was one of the last to sign; and,
• If everyone signs then it just means that Parliament doesn’t have to pass legislation.
“Now that it has been revealed that 30 per cent of licensees have not signed, it is clear the statement by police that ‘you are the one of the last to sign’ was untrue and designed to pressure licensees into signing the agreement,” he said.
“This decision should be a genuine voluntary decision by licensees and they should not feel pressured into ‘volunteering’ for a lockout which they genuinely oppose and don’t believe will address the problem.
“Mr Rann also needs to explain why he wants to impose lockouts on CBD bars and clubs when the Casino and near CBD pubs like the Arkaba, the Royal and many others will not be subject to a lockout.”
Opposition to Mr Rann’s plans to implement a lockout is growing strongly with more than 11,000 members of the Facebook group, “Don’t let Mike Rann lock you out of Adelaide’s bars and clubs after 2am” after only 12 days.