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Rookie MP who can't stay away from a bar fight, keeps his job but loses perks


First-term Labor MP Les Walker has again found himself in trouble with police – and the Premier.

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The Member for Mundingburra, a former local councillor and youth detention centre worker, had been a key voice in the election campaign debate over crime levels in north Queensland.

Since then, however, the 56-year-old has brought attention on himself, accused of late night run-ins with locals, most recently a former Townsville political candidate who encountered the MP on Friday.

On Sunday, police issued Walker with a notice to appear in court for common assault and being disorderly on a licensed premises. If found guilty, Walker could be fined or potentially jailed, leaving it to the Labor-dominated parliament to decide his political future.

It comes only months after Walker was involved in a fracas with two other men at Townsville’s Mad Cow Tavern. They were all declared public nuisances and banned from the city’s party precinct, something Walker is now dealing with a second time.

In a statement, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she expected MPs to meet the highest standards and “I am angry that I have had to repeat this to Les”.

“Regardless of what has occurred and who is at fault, Les has failed in his promise to me not to be placed in circumstances where those standards can be questioned,” Palaszczuk said.

“I am deeply disappointed.”

Palaszczuk said Walker had agreed to stand down from his role on the Transport and Resources Committee – which comes with a $24,083 salary boost – and from his role as a Temporary Speaker.

Walker, who on Saturday denied any wrong-doing, is expected to appear in the Townsville Magistrates Court on August 16.

Walker has been charged with common assault after an altercation with a 39-year-old man at a restaurant on Palmer St on Friday night.

The Mundingburra MP has been banned from the city’s Safe Night Precinct until August 11.

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