The Burnett Hotel at Gayndah in 2019.
The Burnett Hotel at Gayndah in 2019. Felicity Ripper

Publican charged with drug supply allowed to serve alcohol

A GAYNDAH publican who was charged with a string of drug offences had her original bail conditions revoked in court this morning to allow her to continue serving alcohol.

A search warrant was executed after claims were made that Narelle Barnicoat, 52, was supplying a dangerous drug to patrons of the Burnett Hotel on Capper St.

Ms Barnicoat appeared at Gayndah Magistrates Court on Friday after being charged with three counts of drug supply, possessing marijuana and possessing drug utensils.

While her charges where adjourned, the court heard that her bail conditions were preventing her from continuing to manage the hotel.

"Not only does it stop her from doing her job, but it also means that there are several people now out of work because she's the only qualified RMLV (responsible management of licensed venues) for that hotel,” defence lawyer Travis George said.

Mr George said she had no relevant history.

Magistrate Ross Woodford changed Ms Barnicoat's bail conditions to allow her to sell alcohol.

"I don't think it's appropriate to have a bail condition that precludes a person's employment, even though there are allegations that's where the alleged offences are said to have occurred,” Mr Woodford said.

"I can't stop her from doing her job I'm afraid.”

Mr George suggested the charges be adjourned, saying police had alleged a level of commerciality to Ms Barnicoat's offences.

"If we come back on the 31st of May my friend will take some advices from the officers as to what they are actually alleging,” he said.

"If they are alleging commerciality then they will need to prepare a brief.”

Police prosecutor Sonia Edwards said Ms Barnicoat lived at the hotel.

"The main issue is, your honour, there is allegations that some of these transactions where she supplied drugs was when she was behind a bar,” she said.

"It's alleged that she placed $50 notes into the cash register and then got the person to go behind the fridge area where there was no CCTV, to supply the cannabis.”

Ms Barnicoat will appear in court again on May 31.