Queensland’s shadow minister for police has appeared to blame a Townsville minister for being punched at a pub in the state’s north after Labor’s Les Walker was rushed to hospital on Saturday night.
The Mundingburra MP was reportedly celebrating his 56th birthday when he was knocked unconscious during a fight involving two other men at the Mad Cow Tavern in central Townsville, according to police.
Mr Walker was treated at the scene at 1am on Saturday morning before being taken to hospital with no charges being laid by Monday morning.
The incident was criticised by LNP’s shadow police minister, Dale Last, who said Mr Walker failed to live up to the standards expected of ministerial members.
“That’s a concerning incident, there’s no doubt about that,” Mr Last told reporters on Monday morning. “When someone is knocked unconscious, there are always concerns regarding their health.
“That is the subject of a police investigation at the moment and we need to wait until that police investigation rolls out.
“But can I quote Wayne Bennett (legend rugby league coach) who said, very famously, that ‘nothing good comes from being out past 1am in the morning’.
“And when one of our local MPs is out at a nightclub at that time of night and we’ve now seen this incident unfold that has required his hospitalisation.
“As a member of parliament, there’s a very clear expectation from the community about the standards of behaviour and about how you should conduct yourself in public.”
Earlier in the morning, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she had spoken with Mr Walker.
“He’s recovering well but there is a police investigation that is ongoing so I won’t be making an further comments,” she told reporters.