Many Brisbane venues haven’t exactly been stoked about the mandatory introduction of the I.D. scanners that are apparently intended to keep the city safe, and one venue has just had a particularly embarrassing issue as a result of the new tech, causing them to turn away Denmark’s Crown Prince (and husband of former Aussie Princess Mary) because of his I.D.
As Fairfax reports, the 49 year old royal was declined entry to the Eagle St Pier’s Jade Buddha bar just before midnight on Friday, as he didn’t have any sort of identification compatible with the scanners – an issue that is causing problems for many tourists as well.
The understandably shocked prince and his group left the area, but came back 15 minutes later with the 7 Queensland police officers assigned to his “dignitary protection unit”, who explained to the venue manager that the I.D. requirements didn’t apply to foreign royals, as they’d been granted the authority of the Office of Liquor and Gaming to let the poor bloke in.
Brisbane I.D. laws a “nightmare”
Venue co-owner Phil Hogan eventually made his way to the front of the venue to try to save everyone from further embarrassment summed up how a lot of locals feel about the scanners, which cost $8000 each to install, and became mandatory for anyone operating within the city’s Safe Night precincts after 10pm, with the only alternative an option to shift closing time from 2am or 3am to midnight.
“It’s a stupid law. We always thought it was going to be a nightmare,’’ Mr Hogan said. “It’s happening all the time and the whole thing has been a nightmare from a tourist point of view. It’s just a nonsense. It’s a real over-reaction.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg with the Prince,” he continued. “It’s happening all the time with normal people.”
The introduction of I.D. scanners has been on the table for years, with many arguing that their introduction would create a nightmare in terms of logistics and privacy, and as Fairfax notes, Brisbane venues have reported having to turn away everyone from respected foreign business people to backpackers and tourists – often in large numbers and causing significant losses to the venue owners.
While anyone with a less conventional form of I.D. is at risk of being turned away, Fairfax reports that Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath has described the issues following the July 1 introduction as “teething problems”, and will be consulting with venues as the rollout continues.
Perhaps they’d best ask the Crown Prince of Denmark for his thoughts on the matter.