New IronBar safety measures a great success say Police


Victoria Stone-Meadows


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SUCCESS: The IronBar is back and with new tools to help keep everyone safe.

IronBar reopened for late-night trading over the weekend for the first time following a spate of violent incidents around the venue.

New patron management controls have been introduced at the bar including an ID scanner, a $10 cover charge, and a 1.00am lockout.

Anyone entering the bar after 10.00pm will have their ID scanned and the cover charge will kick in at 11.00pm. 

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Venue owner, Shane Loughnan, said the new safety measures have been introduced to weed out the few people who have been causing trouble.

“This is not about the town as a whole, it’s just for the small groups of the main troublemakers,” he said.

“Most people in Port Douglas just want to go out and have a good time, they are not the ones getting in fights and wrecking it for everyone else.

“This is our only real way of dealing with this but it affects the whole community.”

Along with the Tuesday ‘hospo nights’, the venue will also be open late on Sundays, live music on Saturdays, and an occasional DJ set on some Friday nights. 

Port Douglas Police Sergeant, Damian Meadows, said the late-night trading at IronBar over the weekend with the new safety measures was a great success.

“It appears to have been really successful and we had no dramas the weekend,” he said.

“It was a shame we had a spike in incidents earlier in the year, and they weren’t just at IronBar, they were mostly in the street.

“But the processes and plans put in place seem to be working and the violence has basically stopped now.

“It’s early days and we’ll see how effective it is moving forward.”

Sergeant Meadows said following a recent liquor accord meeting, a total of nine people are facing “significant bans” from licensed venues in Port Douglas.

“The licensees decided to issue bans to a number of patrons and we support them,” he said.

“Those perpetrators will be notified of the periods of those bans soon, with some facing up to two years.

“If people wish to behave in that manner, they will need to go elsewhere for a drink because the licensees and Police are taking it very seriously.” 

Sergeant Meadows praised all the venues in town for their ongoing sensible management of patrons.

“We’ve been fortunate over the years, with IronBar our only remaining late-trading venue, they have been very proactive in going about business to reduce and negate antisocial behaviour.

“In fact, all the venues have always engaged with police and other licensed venues to take a whole industry approach and do better business and it’s been really good.”

He also noted there has been a positive response from the community to the new measures at IronBar and said we can all contribute to a safe and fun town.

“Locals are in favour of it; we all want to enjoy the local late-night scene without fear of becoming a victim of antisocial behaviour or unwanted aggression,” he said.

“It’s one of those things where the public can change their behaviours as well; if you are out and realise one of your friends is getting aggressive, take ownership and tell your friend to act their age, not their shoe size.

“If we all play our part, we won't eliminate violence completely but we will certainly reduce it significantly.”

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