Lockouts And Closing Hours

Lockouts punish responsible drinkers and venues to try to deter a small minority from being violent.

Precinct-wide lockouts also do not make any distinction between the well managed and safe venues and those venues with a history of anti-social behaviour or violence.

Similarly, a state-wide legislated closing time for bottle shops ignores local conditions and makes no distinction between real or perceived problems and punishes well-run businesses and their customers.

The Australian alcohol beverages industry believes Governments can best tackle anti-social behaviour and violence by looking at effective measures and reforms including:

  • stronger penalties for violent offenders
  • enforcing bail laws
  • diversifying night time entertainment options
  • better transport from night time precincts
  • more police on the streets
  • targeted and ongoing education

ABA opposes the use of lockouts on a precinct-wide or city-wide basis because research has shown that lockouts only impact rates of violence and anti-social behaviour by virtue of their devastating negative impact on the number of patrons in the night time economy and licensed venues.

The Australian alcohol beverages industry supports the intent of targeted liquor accords in place and working right across the Australia, but will only support lockouts where local communities and licensed venues support their use.


  • reduce responsible people’s flexibility to decide where they drink, eat and dance.
  • advantage larger venues over smaller ones as patrons seek out the bigger range of options for the rest of the evening.
  • favour venues that remain open until the legislated close of service, and disadvantage bars and venues that close earlier.
  • prevent patrons watching live music from going to another venue to find music they prefer.

For industry media comment regarding this issue please contact Alcohol Beverages Australia

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