Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik turned away from Australian bar
Queensland's Attorney-General has stood by the Australian state's controversial ID scanning laws, saying "rules are rules", after reports Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik was denied entry to a Brisbane bar at the weekend.
But a spokeswoman for Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath denied that liquor office bureaucrats were called on to eventually help get the Danish royal into the upmarket bar and restaurant fronting the Brisbane River.
"The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has no knowledge or notification of this incident occurring," she said.
The boss of the city's economic development board, Brisbane Marketing, said he understood the need for safety but the reported incident was "not a good look" for the city.
"It's certainly not the headlines that we want going around the world," chief executive Brett Fraser told ABC Radio Brisbane.
"Indeed, we do a lot of work to position Brisbane as a destination of choice worldwide for business, for leisure.
"Headlines like that certainly don't help us."
The ID scanning regime requires those entering a venue in a Safe Night Precincts after 10pm to have their ID scanned. This regime, which came into effect on July 1, hasn't been a smooth transition as there has been reports of tourists being turned away from bars because their international passports have failed to fit the ID scanners.
News Corp reported the prince and his entourage were turned away from Jade Buddha just before midnight on Friday but returned 15 minutes later with seven officers from the Queensland Police Service's dignitary protection unit.
According to the publisher, the police officers reportedly told the Eagle Street Pier venue they had permission from the OLGR to let the prince and his group skip the laws.
A police spokesman confirmed such a unit existed but could not immediately verify whether it was called on to help on Friday night.
Jade Buddha co-owner Phil Hogan told News Corp he intervened to try to sort out the problem and called for foreign dignitaries to be excluded from the rules.
"It's a stupid law. We always thought it was going to be a nightmare," he said.
"It's happening all the time and the whole thing has been a nightmare from a tourist point of view. It's just a nonsense. It's a real overreaction.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg with the prince. It's happening all the time with normal people."
The Danish royal has been in north Queensland for the prestigious Hamilton Island Race Week, running until Saturday.
Tasmanian-born Princess Mary reportedly did not make the trip to Australia.
The state's ID scanning laws have been heavily criticised by industry concerned they would affect punter numbers and experiences.
Ryan Lane, general manager of award-winning bar The Gresham, said he was "embarrassed" after turning away a dozen French winemakers from his venue in July.
- Brisbane Times