Enforcing a common closing time for licensed venues in South East Queensland entertainment precincts will cause transport chaos and may lead to more violence, warns the state’s peak taxi body.
Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) says the debate so far has ignored the practical issue of moving so many people at one time.
TCQ chief operating officer Wayne Crookes says there are enough taxis on the road to handle normal demand during busy weekends.
“Currently we successfully move tens of thousands of people every weekend from the entertainment precincts with minimal waiting times, mostly through our secure ranks,” he explained.
However a common closing time will create major delays and he is concerned about the ramifications of thousands of intoxicated young people roaming the streets unable to get home.
“The result of a lack of transport may be that young people will attempt to drive while intoxicated or walk home alone late at night, placing their personal safety at risk.
“Being unable to get a taxi may also cause frustration, and we’d be concerned about how that would impact drivers and the staff on our secure taxi ranks.”
Mr Crookes said the Taxi Council wholeheartedly supports moves to curb alcohol-fuelled violence - noting that taxi drivers themselves have been victims – but believes the transport issue must be considered as part of the discussion.
“We don’t wish to comment on the wider debate and we are not advocating for or against anyone’s plan or suggested solution. We simply want it to be known that the inability to provide adequate transportation could create its own set of problems.”
Mr Crookes said those who look to the ‘Newcastle solution’ should keep in mind that Brisbane is four times the size.