SHOWBAR 140 manager Jasmine Robson has hit back at claims her venue is receiving preferential treatment from Mackay's top liquor licensing officer.
Ms Robson says allegations that the licensing officer, Richard Schauer, had a conflict of interest after photos of the pair surfaced on Facebook were “ridiculous” and a slur on her character and business.
The pictures, taken at the Mackay races late last year, were splashed in a Sunday newspaper, which reported at the weekend that Mr Schauer was the subject of a liquor licensing investigation after a “wild day out” with Ms Robson.
However, Ms Robson said the day was far from wild and has strongly refuted claims that Mr Schauer, who has been put on restricted duties, was giving preferential treatment to Showbar 140. She believed the claims were fuelled by someone within the Mackay nightclub industry.
“It's an insult not only to me personally, but to our business,” she said.
“I question whether it would even be an issue if I wasn't a woman.
“It's an embarrassment. It's ridiculous. I feel sorry for Richard and the people of Mackay. We finally get ourselves a liquor licensing officer to make sure everything is above board and now, because of this, he is confined to his desk.”
Ms Robson said the photos – which included shots in front of a Black Hummer regularly seen outside Showbar 140 and one of Mr Schauer sipping out of a high-heeled shoe – had been taken out of context.
She said her relationship with Mr Schauer was the same as the ones she had with people from other authorities, including police and council. Ms Robson said Showbar 140 hadn't received the same amount of fines as other venues in Mackay simply because of the professional way she ran the venue.
CitySafe committee chairman and Mackay councillor Dave Perkins yesterday said that Showbar 140 was well-run and probably the benchmark for Mackay venues in terms of security and patron safety.
Main Street, Platinum Lounge and Doors were charged with offences relating to safety and other licence breaches after raids last August. Ms Robson said Showbar was fined $500 during that operation.
Ms Robson said suggestions Mr Schauer gave her preferential treatment during the raids were wrong as he hadn't started with the Office of Liquor and Gaming.
A spokesperson for the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation said yesterday it would be inappropriate to release information about internal investigations.
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