Call for mandatory sentencing and new nightclub hours

THE group behind the "one punch can kill" safety campaign has spoken out after the bashing of a Toowoomba man and woman in the city centre.

Queensland Homicide Victims' Support Group campaigner Ross Thompson has been lobbying the Queensland Government for three things - the introduction of mandatory sentencing, changes to liquor licensing hours and much-needed financial support for his group's work.

His three appeals have so far gone unanswered, but he was hopeful that change was in the air.

An early-morning bashing attack on Margaret St on Tuesday prompted Mr Thompson to renew his efforts in Toowoomba.

"We've been lobbying Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie for months about introducing mandatory sentencing for (fatal) one-punches," he said.

"We want something similar to what has happened in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

"The Northern Territory's approach is the best model - there it is a minimum 20-year sentence."

Crime statistics for the Toowoomba region in the three months to November 27.
Crime statistics for the Toowoomba region in the three months to November 27. Contributed

Mr Thompson said mandatory sentencing alone was not the total solution, and would only work when changes to liquor licensing hours were reined in.

"What will have an effect is if they bring lock-outs back to midnight and shut clubs at 3am, like they have done in Newcastle," he said.

"The actual knock-on effect from that was increased income for club owners.

"People stopped 'loading up' before going out and spent money in clubs, meaning licensees and the community both had wins.

"We've pointed that out to the Attorney-General and we are fighting tooth-and-nail for that."

The "one punch can kill" campaign has spread to the UK since its launch and has been taken on by the Queensland Government.

Despite attaching their name to it, Mr Thompson said government funding was non-existent.

"We are totally unfunded - a lot of people think it is a government-based campaign, but it is not," he said.

"So we are desperately seeking funds so we can continue to get the word out."

Police are still investigating Tuesday morning's assault in Toowoomba.


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