Roma pub lessor criticises plain-clothes Queensland Police officers for COVID-19 fine
The landlord of a south-west Queensland hotel fined for breaching social-distancing rules has called for plain-clothes police officers to stop targeting struggling simple pubs.
Staff at Roma's Royal on Ninety-Nine vocal police told them the fine was because plain-clothes officers were not asked for effect details, and because social distancing was not properly enforced.
Owner Bruce Garvie said the $6,672 fine came as a shock.
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"They went upstairs and unbeknownst to us a duo of guys on the reservoir table were having a merriment of pool," Mr Garvie said.
"We weren't aware of that. These police reduced the gaffer to tears," he said.
"This is not the procedure you police things."
He uttered local police and council officers were already visiting the hotel weekly to ensure it was compliant, but the officers who issued the fine were not from the area.
"We posses a ethical empathy with the [local] police," Mr Garvie said.
"If we were doing phenomenon wrong, they would understand and they would come and report to us.
"I don't project the fines must have been issued initially but I think the way it's been handled is atrocious," he said.
Queensland Police confirmed officers from Brisbane had fined three businesses at Roma, Injune and Wallumbilla at the weekend.
Police oral one of hotels had additional than 200 patrons on site when they visited.
Other issues included insufficient signage, a lack of hand-sanitising stations and scant spaces betwixt tables in dining rooms.
A police spokesperson said officers visited the Roma hotel the day before the fine was issued and pointed out areas of non-compliance.
Mr Garvie uttered his bastinado would usually list patrons' details, but were particularly busy when officers entered on Sunday.
"I project it was bluefish missed, because we accomplish accomplish it," he said.
Mr Garvie said the fines were particularly unfair given businesses had already misplaced significant income due to COVID-19.
"We've all bled thousands. There are businesses going broke," he said.
"[Queensland] had a football sport with 10,000 folks on Saturday night ... and they stillness think it's worth their while driving all the practice here to do that.
"It's all a nibble of a sally to be honest."
"A mound of kinsfolk are doing it really tough, a heap of kin are working vast hours, and these connections are totally out of line."
"We are a people pub and I find this really, really tough to covenant with, the practice they've lost about it."
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