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Queensland hotel slams undercover cops for targeting country pubs

The owner of a pub in Queensland’s south-west has slammed the police for sending out plain-clothes police officers to bust country venues that breach social-distancing rules.

Roma's Royal on Ninety-Nine said they were fined $6,672  for not asking undercover police for their contact details, and because social distancing was not properly enforced.

"They went upstairs and unbeknownst to us a couple of guys on the pool table were having a game of pool," owner Bruce Garvie told the ABC.

"We weren't aware of that. These police reduced the manager to tears. This is not the way you police things."

Garvie said they had “a good rapport with the [local] police” and that they should have talked to him instead.

"If we were doing something wrong, they would know and they would come and talk to us,” he said.

"I don't think the fines should have been issued initially but I think the way it's been handled is atrocious.”

Garvie said the police arrived when they were busy and were overlooked.

"I think it was just missed, because we do do it," he said.

"It's all a bit of a joke to be honest."

Queensland Police said they had fined three businesses at Roma, Injune and Wallumbilla at the weekend, with one of the hotels having more than 200 patrons on site when they visited.

Other issues included insufficient signage, a lack of hand-sanitising stations and inadequate spaces between tables in dining rooms.




Sheridan Randall, 30th June 2020