I don't know why we think we are any different than any other part of the world: gambling, drinking, violence, traffic congestion ... the list could go on and on.
Recently I was in the UK where people were talking about the same things.
For instance, binge drinking is high on their list of concerns and the articles out of the newspapers could be mistaken as being the same ones written here.
The problems seem to be identical.
I guess the only difference is that MPs in the UK want to put the price up on alcohol but most sensible people realise that, if they do, the drug trade will probably just grow bigger.
It seems to me that getting drunk is something that seems to be universal. Whether it be alcohol, drugs or chewing some type of nut, people have being doing it for centuries.
I am not saying it is right but it has been going on for a while.
Now, before I go any further into this, I should declare to those who do not know me that, as a hotel manager many years ago, I probably did most of the things that I am now saying not to do.
But I agree with most people that the problem is getting bigger and something needs to be done.
I agree with state politicians having a look at late-night hours and bringing them back into line.
Nothing good happens after 1am.
But the problem with doing that is ever since Expo 88 our culture is to go out late and stay out well into the early hours of the next day.
Changing that is going to be difficult but it is worth a go.
The downside is if they start charging big fees for late-night permits, the multinational operators will get bigger while a lot of ma and pa businesses will fall to the wayside, which could mean a whole lot of kids in parks late at night in regional areas unsupervised.
Of course, they need to fix the public transport problem before they start shutting venues at midnight or 1am or there will be more carnage than there is now.
But I see a couple of other things as major contributing factors: ready-to-drink alcohol, which is lethal to young people, and shots of spirits or liqueurs.
These are just two examples.
Now, venues can talk about accords and how they are going to manage their businesses but, fair dinkum, anyone that sells Jaeger bombs is not serious about trying to fix the problem.
Granted, some responsible folk might have one as a nightcap and stumble off to bed. But most are drinking them for one reason.
The fun police should stop venues from selling straight-up shots of anything because it appears a fair percentage of people can’t handle it.
So, think earlier hours, no shots, more buses and taxis and no 7% ready-to-drink beverages and maybe the problem starts to turn around.
source: Sunshine Coast Daily