Police have taken legal action against several people and venues – including those involved in a Jindabyne dance party – for alleged breaches of the state’s Public Health Orders. Further action is anticipated for other alleged breaches detected in the past 24 hours.
Details of these alleged breaches are further outlined below:
– Police have issued 12 people with $1,000 Penalty Infringement Notices (PINS) following a large outdoor event in bushland near Lake Jindabyne on Friday 24 July 2020. About 11.30pm, police were called to the area, and observed a large, organised dance party attended by between 150 to 200 people. Following inquiries, officers attached to Monaro Police District handed out PINs for the offence of fail to comply with noticed direction in relation to section 7/8/9 – COVID-19 to 8 men – aged in their 20s and early 30s, and four women, aged in their 20s.
– About 3.50pm yesterday (Saturday 25 July 2020), officers attached to Wollongong Police District were conducting high-visibility inspections of licensed premises when they visited a venue on the Princes Highway in Figtree. Inside the venue, police observed a large number of patrons standing together, drinking in groups. Police will allege that the venue manager did not properly enforce the COVID-19 safety plan for the venue, and they will be issued a $5,000 PIN.
– Officers attached to the Monaro Police District attended a venue in Thredbo, just before 4.30pm yesterday and observed a number of alleged breaches to the Public Health Act. This included a breach of capacity limits for the size of the venue, including people waiting in line and not physical distancing, more than 10 persons seated per table, no COVID-Safe marshals and patrons not seated whilst socialising. Police spoke to the licensee about the issues; however, when they returned an hour later, observed further breaches occurring and people running away. The licensee was issued with two $5,000 PINS, and a travel company owner who had organised for a large number of patrons to attend the venue was issued a $5000 PIN.
– About 5.30pm yesterday, police spoke to a 63-year-old Victorian resident who drove into NSW via the Cobb Highway Bridge that adjoins Echuca, in VIC and Moama, in NSW. The man allegedly refused to provide police with identification or a permit to enter the state, stating he was a ‘sovereign citizen’. After refusing a direction to leave under the current Public Health Order, he was arrested and taken to Moama Police Station. He was charged with not comply with noticed direction re section 7/8/9 – COVID-19 and granted conditional bail. The man, from Fyansford – near Geelong – is due to appear in Moama Local Court on Wednesday 9 September 2020. He was ordered not to re-enter NSW without a valid entry permit or exemption and returned to his vehicle on the Victorian side of the border.
– A 60-year-old man will be issued with a $1,000 PIN for allegedly failing to self-isolate as per his obligations under the Public Health Act (COVID19 Border Control). About 6.50pm yesterday, officers attached to Newcastle City Police District spoke with a man at an address on Kendall Street, Charlestown, who had just returned from a pub where he had been drinking, despite being directed to self-isolate for 14 days after returning to Newcastle from Victoria on Monday 13 July 2020.
– Yesterday, officers attached to Mid North Coast Police District conducted 19 audits of hospitality venues across the Port Macquarie Hastings Local Government area and issued three separate PINS to venues allegedly caught breaching the current Public Health Orders. At 8.45pm, the licensee of a venue on Rollands Plains Road, Telegraph Point, will be issued a $1,000 PIN after patrons were seen standing and consuming alcohol and not physical distancing, and because there was no COVID Safety Plan or COVID safety marshal present. Two food restaurants, one on Clarence Street and one on William Street in Port Macquarie will each be issued a $1,000 PIN after they were also caught allegedly not complying with a noticed direction.
– Officers from Lake Illawarra Police District also conducted an operation to inspect hospitality venues yesterday, with PINS to be issued to four of the seven venues visited. These include restaurants and hotels in Gerringong and Shellharbour who were allegedly breaching the current Public Health Orders. The alleged breaches included being overcrowded, not enforcing physical distancing, not having COVID safety marshals present, and breaching COVID Safety plans. Licensing police also assisted in the early closure of a licensed premise at Dapto in order to avoid breaches. Two arrests were made in the process for offensive conduct and failing to comply with a reasonable direction.
Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.