Pub owner avoids COVID-19 fine for table dancing video
AFTER leaked footage emerged of patrons dancing on tables at The Club Hotel Motel, officers from Liquor and Gaming have revealed they will not proceed with issuing a COVID-19 infringement notice to the venue for breaching public health directions.
The Club Hotel Motel drew nation-wide attention in late Augustwhen a brief video recorded on a mobile phone depicted punters dancing on tables at the southwest pub, raising questions as to whether COVID-19 restrictions were being flouted at a time of several outbreaks in Queensland and New South Wales.
Club Hotel Motel owner Felicity Waldron confirmed the person on the table was immediately removed from the venue and there were no instances of people dancing on tables.
"When he was on the table, the bar was closed, the lights were on but the music was turned off," Mrs Waldron said.
"He jumped on the table and admits he hadn't really thought of the consequences - it was spur of the moment.
"And while the footage shows a lot of people standing up, that's because they were all departing from the hotel.
"The 12-seconds of the footage does not depict the entirety of the situation."
Compliance officers inspected five licensed venues in Roma over the following weekend of September 4-5 and found all venues required improvement in mandatory collection of patron details for contract tracing purposes.
"Officers educated licensees on the matter and they will also receive formal correspondence reminding them of their obligations," an Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation spokesperson said.
Mrs Waldron has hit out at the government for shining a spotlight on struggling southwest pubs, claiming there was more restriction flouting in regional and metropoliton centres.
"I question the pubs in Brisbane and Toowoomba, are they under the same level of scrutiny as us out here," Mrs Waldron said.
"Several tourists have visited the Club Hotel Motel saying this is the first time they have had their temperature checked before entering a venue and someone is diligent at the contract tracing sign in."
She believes the government need to work with these businesses to streamline the rules and enforcement, not make the situation harder.
"I rang the Queensland Hotel Association and they said there's no full-proof way to properly contract trace - both electronic and paper are fought with problems," she said.
"We're doing our best here.
"My issue is if the government app doesn't even work then they put the onus onto the businesses.
"If the government can't get it right, how is a venue supposed to manage this.
"Putting the onus onto the businesses, we're really trying to work out the full-proof way but there isn't one and the businesses need direction.
"The government should be developing something for the entertainment and events businesses to help them, if there a case were to come into a region, they could contract trace and isolate everyone immediately."
Mrs Waldron said she wonders how some businesses will stay afloat when JobKeeper payments finish.
"My fear is one JobKeeper ends, will businesses be able to afford to have designated people on hand to ensure the business remains compliant," she questioned.
"Most venues are operating on reduced numbers of patrons coming in."
Mrs Waldron stated The Club Hotel Motel does not want to jeopardise anyone's health that comes into their venue.