In a surprising twist, the Labor MP who damaged a hotel in July 2019 has admitted he did so in search of his drugs.
Vic MP admits ‘addiction’ after hotel rage
A Victorian state Labor MP has admitted drug and alcohol addiction and will take a leave of absence after smashing a Canberra hotel door to get to his medication.
Police were called to the Abode Hotel in Kingston on Thursday after Will Fowles had an argument with staff about access to his luggage which was in a locked room.
Photos of the damage show only the top half of the door remaining, with the shattered lower part scattered on the floor.
Mr Fowles agreed to accompany police to a station for questioning. He has not been charged.
In a statement, he apologised to staff at the hotel, his colleagues and constituents for his “appalling behaviour”.
“What happened is unacceptable. I am deeply ashamed of my actions,” Mr Fowles said.
“While there are reasons for it, there are no excuses.”
The MP said the outburst occurred because he couldn’t access medication inside his luggage.
“I have, for a long time, been dealing with addiction and other mental health issues,” he said.
“I will take a leave of absence to properly deal with my health issues.”
Hotel guest Kellie Sloane was among those evacuated from the building as temperatures plummeted to -2C in Kingston.
“He told the security guard he couldn’t access his luggage, he needed his luggage because he had a 9am flight, so he bashed the door down,” she told reporters.
Mr Fowler said he would pay for the damage.
“It’s a solid door and it was broken all the way through from halfway up to down to the bottom so it was serious damage,” Ms Sloane said.
Mr Fowles was elected to the seat of Burwood, once held by Liberal Premier Jeff Kennett, eight months ago as Labor returned to power in a landslide victory.
In his maiden speech Mr Fowles spoke of how parliamentarians should “set the standard”.
“Only through principled behaviour and disciplined debate will this generation of public leaders win back the trust of the citizens we represent,” he said.
Outside of politics, Mr Fowles is best known as the youngest person to be elected to the committee of the Melbourne Cricket Club.
He had been in Canberra at his own expense to watch Victorian Labor senator Raff Ciccone deliver his first speech.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Mr Fowles continued to have his support.
“Will Fowles has behaved inappropriately. He’s apologised for that and I believe he’s sincere,” he said in a statement.
“He’s also indicated he has addiction issues. He has my full support as he gets the treatment and care that he needs.”
Victorian Liberal spokesman Tim Smith described the outburst as “totally unacceptable” and called Mr Fowles a “buffoon”.
“Will Fowles’ behaviour has been so appalling here that Daniel Andrews must take steps to call his behaviour out and must sanction this Labor member,” he told reporters.
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