Queensland

Lockout legislation rests on KAP's support

North Queensland is shaping up as the key battleground in the Palaszczuk government's fight to get the support it needs to pass its laws into alcohol-fuelled violence.

With the LNP and independent Billy Gordon publicly stating their intention to vote no, the legislation's success rests with Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth of Katter's Australian Party.

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Lockout laws have made people go "straight home to bed" and crippled the city's nightlife according the CEO of Freelancer.com.

The party has concerns about what the legislation would mean for Cairns' beleaguered economy. But on the same day Employment Minister Grace Grace couldn't guarantee venues wouldn't close because of the laws, the government also ruled out staggering the lockout roll-out.

It's one in, all in, according to the Palaszczuk government, which has already turned down the KAP's MPs' request for more time to digest the parliamentary review of the laws.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed the debate will go ahead as planned next week, during the first sitting of Parliament.

But there is no guarantee the government has the votes it needs to have the legislation pass.

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"We're a long way off from landing on this yet," Robbie Katter said.

"We want to be certain these laws are solid and address the problem of alcohol-fuelled violence and that it really does what is intended. 

"We want to be sure that the way it is done is fair and equitable and acknowledges that the impacts and how this works will be different between the Valley and other areas of Queensland.

"So something like a staggered roll-out is something we would like to discuss. Nothing is bolted down with us yet.  We have a lot of discussions between now and next week with both sides of the fence."

The government has spent the past two weeks pushing its legislation across Queensland's regions this week.  The opposition headed to Cairns to sell its own position.

With the 43 Labor MPs locked into voting yes under caucus rules and the 42 LNP MPs locked into voting no under their own party room rules, the vote has come down to the cross bench.  Independent Peter Wellington is expected to vote with Labor, while former Labor MP Mr Gordon will vote no.

Mr Gordon's position has put the focus on the Katter party with the legislation shaping up to be one of Labor's hallmark policies, having been shaped while the party was in opposition, and the reason Anthony Lynham stood for the party at the Stafford by-election.

Parliament resumes next week.

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