Police stretched as pubs open later on the Gold Coast’s party precinct

The State Opposition fears a lack of policing will occur in Gold Coast suburbs after the State Government extended liquor licensing on the Glitter Strip.

The Government’s announcement on Saturday to let liquor licence holders trade for an hour longer during the Commonwealth Games put the spotlight on the city’s stretched police resources.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington told the Bulletin: “We understand the concerns of local businesses who are trying to make the most of what the Commonwealth Games can do for the local economy on the Gold Coast and across Queensland.

Retired Superintendent Jim Keogh has questioned how police will cope during the Commonwealth Games. Picture Glenn Hampson

“We also need to be mindful of our policing resources and the need for more resources in the Games precinct and in high tourism areas while making sure people living in the suburbs are still safe.”

The Opposition leader said 40 local police were cut last year on the Coast.

On the other end of the spectrum, the decision has left some Surfers Paradise nightclubs flabbergasted.

“To close at 2am or 3am or 4am is insane,” House of Brews co-owner Sacha Kanaghines said.

“We are supposed to be showing off to the world.”

Sin City owner Tim Martin said he was happy with the “compromise” of a 4am closure.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate was supportive of the extension: “This extension allows visitors to enjoy longer hospitality and entertainment in our Safe Night Precincts while ensuring the Games remain safe and family friendly”.

A spokeswoman for the State Government said the extension had been granted in consultation with traders.

“There was a consensus among key stakeholders that extending liquor trading would give us the best balance between the safety of patrons and helping traders to capitalise on the Games.

Some of the strongest opposition to 24-hour liquor trading came from the police, she said.

Originally Published by The Gold Coast Bulletin, continue reading here.