By James Atkinson

A publican who refused service to an Aboriginal woman in a case of mistaken identity did not racially discriminate against her, a tribunal has ruled.

In October 2011, the manager of the Tattersalls Hotel Gilgandra, refused to serve the woman and told her to leave the hotel. 

The manager later explained that he had confused her with another Aboriginal woman who had been barred from the hotel. 

She felt humiliated by the explanation and was further upset and embarrassed when the manager revealed that the woman he had confused her with had been offering male patrons oral sex in return for a drink. 

She lodged a complaint with the Administrative Decisions Tribunal of NSW, saying repeatedly that the other woman's behaviour was disgusting and that she was not that person.

But the tribunal ruled that while the woman's distress was understandable, the manager had not breached the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977.

"The real reason for telling [the woman] to leave was not her race, it was because he mistook her for someone else," said Deputy President Hennessy and Members Kelleghan and Newman.

They said the manager now realised that he should have checked the woman's identification before refusing to serve her and he had apologised for his mistake.

The complaint was dismissed.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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