The Newman Government should listen to frontline ambulance officers and take urgent action to address alcohol-fuelled violence, Shadow Emergency Services Minister Bill Byrne said today.

Mr Byrne said it was astounding that Jarrod Bleijie and Lawrence Springborg were sitting on their hands while ambulance officers were being attacked.

He said if the Campbell Newman-led LNP Government had listened to expert advice in the first place and followed research, ambulance officers would not be making pleas for action in national media.

“When experts say you need to look at trading hours and ambulance officers say you need to look at trading hours, then that’s what you should do,” Mr Byrne said.

“It’s clear that more needs to be done so ambos aren’t cleaning up the mess of the Newman Government’s own creation.

“Instead of punishing someone after they’ve hurt an ambulance officer, I’d rather ambulance officers weren’t belted by a drunk thug in the first place.

“Ambos are right when they say they shouldn’t need to look out for their own safety when all they’re trying to do is help the public when they get into strife.”

Mr Byrne said Labor had released its policy to tackle alcohol fuelled violence more than 10 months ago.

“A future Labor Government will roll back the service of alcohol in night clubs and pubs with late night trading licenses from 5 a.m. to 3am. A 1am lockout will also apply to these premises,” he said.

“This does not mean that night clubs and the like have to shut their doors at 3am. They could still sell coffee, other drinks, food and provide entertainment, but just not sell alcohol.

“This policy has been developed from research evidence from authoritative sources, including the Newcastle model and the LNP Government’s own expert advisory panel.

“Recently Kings Cross introduced reduced trading hours and the number of grievous bodily harm assaults dropped from 22 to just 2, according to the NSW assistant police commissioner.

“If Campbell Newman and the LNP had adopted our policy, perhaps the 207 attacks on ambos could have been drastically reduced or even stopped.”



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