Licensing Officers Suspended for Misconduct
By Andrew Starke
Two Gold Coast liquor licensing officers have been suspended following allegations of misconduct by the state’s liquor and gaming regulator.
While the Brisbane Times reported over the weekend that the officers had “been stood down and are under investigation for taking bribes on the Gold Coast”, a spokesperson for Liquor Licensing Minister Peter Lawlor told TheShout that bribery was not one of the charges being investigated.
She said the two faced charges of ‘misconduct’ but would not specify further.
Lawlor had previously confirmed that the two officers had been suspended after several Surfers Paradise nightclub sources said they were being ‘pressured’ by officers.
He added that anyone with a complaint against his officers or evidence of police misconduct should contact the Crime and Misconduct Commission, which is presently investigating corruption in the state.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said allegations of misconduct against Gold Coast liquor licensing officers were to be expected given their daily interaction with nightclub and hotel owners, managers and staff.
The premier implied that public servants could be corrupted by regular contact with elements in the industry.
"These sorts of allegations are in some ways not surprising given the work that is involved here and the characters that are associated with some of these organisations,” she told the Brisbane Times. "It’s important to know people make allegations about people in public sector jobs on a regular basis."
Since 2007 six officers have been investigated for misconduct.
Four of these matters are still under investigation while two have been resolved with no case to answer.