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Protesters Decry Strict New Queensland Curfew

BRISBANE, Australia (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Hundreds of protesters gathered at a 'Reclaim the Nightlife' rally in front of the Parliament House in Brisbane to protest a strict new curfew that calls for venues to lock patrons out at midnight and be shut down my 2am.

At present, venues can be open until 5am with a 3am cutoff for patron admission. Police have said these rules, enacted in 2006, have led to an increase in alcohol-related problems and recommended the revised curfew.

"We think it is going to cause a lot more problems because evidence from overseas suggest extending trading hours reduces violence," protest organizer Zach Salar told the Gold Coast Bulletin. "People in Surfers Paradise, people on the Gold Coast, people in Brisbane, everywhere in Queensland are going to be affected by this.

"We do vote and we are hoping for a strong presence here because we want to keep our night life alive and we want to keep our cities alive."

Although the anti-curfew rally drew the support of the band Powderfinger and had more than 15,000 signups on Facebook, turnout was reported to be light with just a 'few hundred' protesters turning up. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers