A PUBLIC forum dealing with alcohol abuse and violence in one of Brisbane’s most popular nightlife precincts will be held on May 5 at the Wickham Hotel.

In an attempt to publicly source and discuss strategies to tackle the issue in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane’s LGBTI-friendly district, Brisbane Central state Liberal MP Robert Cavallucci and the Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) have partnered to host the upcoming LGBTIQ Safe Night Forum.

The forum is the latest in a series of public forums started by Cavallucci to engage with the Brisbane community over issues surrounding alcohol and drug-associated violence in the city. The forum is being held as a part of the Queensland Government’s recent Safe Night Out strategy.

Recent media reports of assaults linked in the Valley and reports that more go unreported have drawn the attention of Cavallucci and QuAC, who felt that a specific LGBTI anti-violence strategy was required.

“What [these cases] did reveal and highlight was that community consultation was needed as well as information sessions in order to better inform the LGBTIQ communities about police procedures and reporting processes, liaison officers and community safety both within and proximal to licensed entertainment precincts,” Cavallucci told the Star Observer.

“The LGBTI community is an important part of the fabric and culture of the Brisbane Central electorate. I welcome the opportunity to talk with the community about this important issue and thank QuAC for agreeing to co-host it with me.”

In addition to representatives from QuAC and the government, local LGBTI liaison officers from Fortitude Valley police will also attend the forum to hear the concerns of and speak directly with the community.

“The Valley is where Brisbane’s LGBTI community goes to play. Everyone in our community should have a right to feel safe when we go out and party, and this forum will ensure that our voices are heard and we can share our experiences of violence with policymakers and the Police on our home turf,” QuAC executive director John Mikelsons said.

Mikelsons added that he hoped the forum would allow the community to play a pivotal role in creation of strategies for Brisbane.

“I am not going to prejudge outcomes of the forum, I just really want our community to have their say, and for their voices to be heard,” he told the Star Observer.

Cavallucci echoed hopes that the upcoming forum would give all invested groups groundwork on which to build.

“[Other campaigns] highlighted the need for further work to be done, hence the initiative of this forum. I look forward to working with the police, QuAC and other stakeholders to deliver better outcomes to the community,” he said.

The forum will be held at the Wickham Hotel on Monday, May 5 at 6.30pm. RSVP by April 30 to jthwaites@qahc.org.au.

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