Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has been refused entry into a licensed venue in Tamworth, for failing to provide his double COVID-19 vaccination status.
- Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has been refused entry into The Tamworth Hotel
- He failed to provide proof of his COVID-19 double-vaccination due to not having a smartphone or physical copy
- The Federal MP says he normally asks venues to verify his vaccination status with Parliament House, which was refused at the venue
Mr Katter, who does not have a smartphone or Service NSW app, said he often received entry into venues by verifying his vaccination status through Parliament House.
“I guess you can argue that my staff should have worked that out, but I don’t have one of these modern phones.”
On Sunday,Mr Katter told Tamworth Hotel staff to call Parliament House or his government minders to verify his vaccination status.
Mr Katter has been double-vaccinated, having undergone one dose live on television.
COVID-19 guidelines are posted on the doors, inside and on The Tamworth Hotel website.(ABC New England North West: Kemii Maguire)
However, he has previously been opposed to government COVID-19 trackers on mobile devices, such as the federal government’s contact-tracing app.
The NSW Health website indicated people without the use of smartphones could legally print out their digital certificate or immunisation history statement, to carry with them as proof of vaccination.
It also stated a black and white copy would be accepted.
Mr Katter said he was aware of this, but forgot it at the time.
“I was positive that I had it, but it was in my luggage. I travel a lot,” Mr Katter said.
“The person in the hotel was in their rights to do what they did.”
The ABC has contacted the manager of the Tamworth Hotel.
Police called to ‘public drinking’ incident
After the incident, the MP and people he was meeting then continued their conversation on park benches across the road from the Tamworth Hotel where local media and police were called.
Police were called to benches outside the Tamworth Rail Station, 100 metres away from the Tamworth Hotel.(ABC New England North West: Kemii Maguire)
“Someone had just seen a tall poppy, and they get a buzz out of calling [the police].”
An Oxley Police spokesperson said they had been called out to investigate an alleged public drinking incident, but there was nothing to report.
“Everyone was compliant, and the MP left [the Tamworth Hotel] without incident,” a spokesperson said.
In NSW, proof of double-vaccination mandates have been in place since mid-October.
In Queensland, vaccination mandates will start on December 17.
Mr Katter has likened the refusal to enter the Tamworth Hotel as a ban on the freedom of public assembly.