Australia: The Hub at Varsity fined record $29,000 after council inspectors find cockroaches and filth

One of the city’s most popular drinking and dining hangouts for university students has been slugged with a huge court fine after council inspectors found cockroaches and a filthy kitchen.

The Hub - Other - Gold Coast_originalThe Hub at Varsity Lakes has been fined more than $29,000 after the Gold Coast City Council lodged a complaint in the Southport Magistrates Court.

The court was told a council environmental health officer visited the restaurant on September 11 and identified several breaches of the Food Standards Code.

The officer found poor hygiene with workers not provided with soap and hand towels, unclean contact equipment and a build-up of food waste along with cockroaches inside the premises.

Council health officers noted the restaurant had a “history of contraventions” since April last year, and those poor standards continued after the September inspection.

A hearing before Magistrate Catherine Pirie this month was adjourned after the owner for the restaurant failed to appear.

Despite being advised by the court, neither management nor sole owner, Courtney Tennyson Bell, appeared at a second hearing last Friday.

Ms Pirie found The Hub guilty of failure to comply with the Food Standard Code and fined the restaurant $15,500 and included an order to pay court and professional costs.

Ms Bell was found guilty under executive officer liability where she failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the restaurant met the code. She was fined $13,500 and also ordered to pay costs.