A Queensland Opposition MP has apologised for having “driveway drinks” with neighbours on the weekend, in a coronavirus breach that saw him resign as shadow police minister.
Trevor Watts, the Member for Toowoomba North, was fined more than $1,300 for attending a get-together in East Toowoomba on Sunday afternoon.
Two off-duty police officers were also fined for being there.
Mr Watts said he should have known better.
“I made a mistake. I have to own that mistake and take responsibility,” he said.
“My behaviour has fallen short of the community’s expectations of a shadow minister and that is why I immediately resigned.”
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said a police patrol came across the get together.
“The police will allege that the outdoor gathering was in fact a street party,” she said.
“[Police] will allege that this was more than standing in the driveway. A number of people at the end of a cul-de-sac sitting together — anywhere up to 15 people.
“I anticipate as a result of that that further infringement notices will be issued.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she expected all Queenslanders to know the chief health officer’s directions.
Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington said Mr Watts called her yesterday to stand down, however, she added that he would continue to represent Toowoomba North.
“I hold a very high standard to my shadow ministry,” she said.
Ninderry MP Dan Purdie will take over as shadow police minister.
Before being elected to represent the Sunshine Coast community in 2017, Mr Purdie worked as a detective during his 20-year career in the Queensland Police Service.
High-profile cases included being involved in the arrests of child killer Shane Akehurst in 2015 and the partner of Buderim woman Noelene Buetel, who was murdered in 2011.
“I’m passionate about law and order and dedicated most of my adult life fighting crime and protecting vulnerable people in our community,” he said.