Alcohol is a contributing factor in most assaults on Australian streets. But can restricting alcohol sales save lives? In Queensland, the death of Cole Miller in January 2016 and other recent assaults around licensed premises highlighted the need for government intervention to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence. The Queensland Government introduced a revised trading hours scheme in response, which includes a ban on the service of alcohol after 2.00 am.

Using foot-traffic counts, interviews and administrative data, we are exploring the impact of alcohol trading restrictions on violence in public places and licenced venues in Queensland. We are considering variables such as outlet density, enforcement practices, demographics, and product pricing to build a rich picture of the night-time environment after the alcohol licensing reforms. Leaning on the Queensland experience for evidence, we ask if alcohol sales restrictions can curb violence in our communities.

On the basis of the interim evaluation findings, the Queensland Government amended its policy approach, including repealing the 1am lock-out provisions that were scheduled to take effect in February 2017.


  • Evaluate the impact of the Queensland Government’s policy to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence in supporting a safer nigh-time environment
  • Assess the contribution of the policy to cultural change around drinking behaviour
  • Determine the effectiveness of the policy in balancing the interests of the liquor industry with a reduction in alcohol-fuelled violence


Project team

  • Professor Peter Miller - Project leader
  • Associate Professor Jason Ferris
  • Dr Kerri Coomber
  • Dr Nicholas Carah
  • Professor Kypros Kypri
  • Professor Jakob Najman
  • Professor Tanya Chikritzhs
  • Professor Robin Room
  • Associate Professor Alan Clough
  • Associate Professor Belinda Lloyd
  • Dr Sarah Callinan
  • Dr Jason Jiang
  • Dr Michael Livingston
  • Ms Sharon Matthews
  • Dr Elizabeth Manton
  • Mr Nic Droste
  • Ms Ashlee Curtis

Project details

Duration: June 2016 - October 2018


  • Deakin University
  • The University of Queensland (ISSR)
  • La Trobe University
  • James Cook University

Funding: Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Contact: Associate Professor Jason Ferris (

ISSR ref ISSR161408