A Queensland MP and her husband are in hot water over an alleged alcohol-fuelled incident at a pub in her electorate.
Saturday 10 September, Brittany Lauga – first-term MP for the seat of Keppel – and her husband, Wayne, were reportedly asked to leave the Keppel Sands Hotel. This was following a fracas involving two other men, one of whom was with Wayne Lauga, and possibly involving the MP’s husband to some degree.
Wane Lauga was said to have been intoxicated and cursing at the television, on which many patrons were watching the Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks NRL game. He and his friend were asked to leave after the altercation, and both have been banned from the venue for 12 months.
Lauga reportedly refused initial requests, got argumentative and smashed a glass on the pool table, although the Australian South Sea Island Movement Inc, which was selling raffle tickets at the Hotel at the time, claims he merely “accidentally knocked his glass over”.
The Queensland opposition seized the opportunity during question time last week to throw doubt on the Annastacia Palaszczuk Government’s plans to introduce a state-wide lockout next year.
“How does the government’s policy on alcohol-fuelled violence accord with the Member for Keppel’s alleged behaviour on the weekend?” asked leader Tim Nicholls.
On Wednesday, Ms Lauga made an emotional statement, denying they were asked to leave.
“I can confirm that my husband and I were at a pub on Saturday night watching the football and things got rowdy, as they do,” she said.
Premier Palaszczuk expressed that alcohol-fuelled violence was a serious issue, but defended Lauga amid extenuating circumstances.
“I believe the member for Keppel to be an honest and decent person,” she said. “I also understand that the member for Keppel has gone through some rough times recently.”
Keppel Sands publican Mark Hurst told the Courier Mail he is sticking by his story, and the ban on the two men.
“She (Ms Lauga) was involved by association, that’s it in a nutshell,” he said. “I didn’t go over the top.”
Police are investigating.