Brisbane's Caxton Hotel hit with large fines after Broncos staff incident

Brisbane's Caxton Hotel hit with large fines after Broncos staff incident

An iconic Brisbane pub near Suncorp Stadium faces $13,344 in fines over two alleged breaches of COVID-19 regulations, one of which involved three Brisbane Broncos coaching staff including NRL legend Allan Langer.

Queensland Police have declined to reveal details of the incidents in question, but the news follows reports of a birthday function held for Langer at the Caxton Hotel that breached the league's biosecurity bubble rules. 

Langer and his colleagues Blake Duncan and Ryan Whitley each received $5,000 fines from the NRL over the breach.

"It is important everyone within club bubbles follows the protocols, not only so the season continues, but to ensure no risk to the general community," NRL acting chief executive Andrew Abdo said last week.

Police been investigating that incident and another on the same weekend at the venue.

"The Queensland Police Service (QPS) issued two corporate penalty infringement notices (PINs) to a hotel on Caxton Street in Brisbane in relation to breaches of the public health directions," the QPS said in a statement.

"Officers from Task Force Sierra Linnet commenced an investigation and as a result two corporate penalty infringement notices were issued on Friday, August 7 for two separate incidents.

"Police will allege on July 31 and August 2, the licensed venue failed to comply with COVID-19 public health directions," the police said, adding the fine for each infringement notice is $6,672.

This afternoon the NRL reported Queensland Police had confirmed Brisbane Broncos players had not breached the government's public health directions after attending a venue - reported by the Brisbane Times as the Everton Park Hotel - on 1 August .

This means the players will not need to enter a "COVID Hold" and can continue to train and play while the NRL investigation continues.

All players who attended the venue will however take a COVID-19 test.

The NRL Integrity Unit is continuing to investigate the actions of players at the hotel and has been collecting and examining all available evidence.

Abdo said the league was working closely with Queensland authorities to determine if NRL rules had been breached.

"We are conducting a detailed investigation to ensure we have all available evidence before determining the need for sanctions. It is important we have all the facts and evidence before making a decision," Abdo said.

"Right from the start of this pandemic we have made it clear if protocols are breached players and officials will face strong sanctions. Our actions in recent days have confirmed that.

"Our biosecurity experts have determined the players will not be required to enter a COVID-19 Hold."

Yesterday the NRL proposed Brisbane Broncos player Tevita Pangai Junior be fined $30,000 over multiple alleged breaches of protocols over a period of time.

Pangai Junior has been given a breach notice which excludes him from the Broncos' bubble and any NRL match day.

"We believe this was a case of a player committing multiple contraventions of the protocols and showing a disregard for the league's rules," Abdo said.

"We will do everything we can to protect our season. Players or officials who show they are unable to comply with the biosecurity protocols will be removed from club bubbles until we are satisfied that they will comply with the protocols. We believe in this case, Tevita has not been able to do that.

"This decision protects the health of our playing squads and most importantly the general community."

Updated at 3:36pm AEST on 13 August 2020.


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