NSW police have released information on the fines they have issued for social distance breaches:
Police have issued a total of 16 penalty infringement notices for non-compliance with Covid public health orders across the weekend.
In addition to the nine people fined following indoor gatherings at East Jindabyne and Maroubra that exceeded the 20-person limit, as reported yesterday (Sunday 2 August 2020), police issued another seven following eight incidents of failing to comply with noticed direction in relation to section 7/8/9-Covid-19.
From 5.30am on Friday (31 July 2020), officers from Sydney city police area command were patrolling Hyde Park south and monitoring a group who had gathered for an unauthorised public assembly.
When the group exceeded 20 people about 11am, a move-on direction was issued to the spokesman before formal directions under the Public Health Act were issued to each participant.
After the spokesman refused to comply with directions and attempted to incite the rest of the group, he was arrested. He then refused to provide his details and was subsequently taken to Day Street police station. The 47-year-old man was identified and issued with a $1,000 infringement notice.
At a second, unrelated, unauthorised public assembly at a university at Camperdown, officers from inner west police area command were monitoring a group from about 11.30am on Friday.
After numbers in the group increased to about 40, police issued a formal direction under the Public Health Act. Two men, aged 34 and 38, failed to comply with the move-on direction and were each issued a $1,000 infringement notice.
Just after midday on Friday, officers from Liverpool city police area command attended a hotel on Scott Street, Liverpool, to speak to a 44-year-old woman after it was determined she provided false compassionate reasons on her entry permit to travel into NSW from Victoria.
Police informed the woman her application had been rejected, her permit was invalid and directed her to return to Victoria. She was also issued a $1,000 fine.
As part of proactive compliance operations, officers from the Mid North Coast police district attended a licensed premises on East Street, Crescent Head, about 7.30pm on Friday.
Police spoke to the male licensee about the Covidsafe plan and issues raised during a previous inspection. While conducting the walk-through, the officers noted that the premises was full, but only nine names were recorded on the register.
Further, tables and chairs had not been removed to ensure physical distancing and it was not being observed.
The 50-year-old man was subsequently issued a $1,000 infringement notice.
About 2.45am on Saturday (1 August 2020), officers from Tweed/Byron police district were called to a house party on Melaleuca Drive, Mullumbimby Creek.
Police saw a large number of people inside and outside the house, none of whom were appropriately physically distanced.
The 53-year-old male resident told police he was aware there were too many attendees but wasn’t worried because he believes coronavirus is just a flu. The group was dispersed, and he was subsequently issued a $1,000 fine.
Officers from traffic and highway patrol command were patrolling the Springdale area on Saturday when they stopped a vehicle on Burley Griffin Way just before 11am.
Checks revealed the 24-year-old female driver was disqualified from driving and was in breach of her self-isolation requirements as she had returned from Victoria on 20 July.
Police issued the woman with a $1,000 fine and a court attendance notice for driving while disqualified before directing her to return home to complete the self-isolation period.
BCA and ACTU team up to call for paid pandemic leave
The Business Council of Australia and the Australian Council of Trade Unions – not known for being on the same side of a lot of issues – have released a joint letter calling for a paid pandemic leave scheme:
Re: Federal paid pandemic leave scheme
We write to urge your government to move quickly to introduce a paid pandemic leave scheme that supports all workers to comply with the applicable state and territory public health directives around Covid-19 testing and isolation.
Paid pandemic leave is now an essential public health measure that will combat the recent spike in workplace transmission in Victoria. Regrettably, recent events in Victoria have demonstrated that there are insufficient measures in place to enable workers who should not be attending their workplaces to stay home.
Business and unions are committed to ensuring that work is healthy and safe for all workers, customers and visitors. The recent outbreaks in Victoria have highlighted that there are still a number of workers who are attending work while infectious or at risk, which is accelerating the rate of community transmission. This is both harmful to the health of the community and disruptive to businesses that are now closing in increasing numbers following workplace transmission.
For many workers who have no or inadequate sick leave, the cost of isolation can be particularly burdensome. Furthermore, while many businesses have implemented policies to provide for paid pandemic leave, not all are able to do so given the cost, especially in the current circumstances where workers are often required to isolate and get tested on multiple occasions.
We acknowledge the efforts of the Victorian government to introduce its own scheme. This scheme is available to all workers who are required to isolate and do not have access to leave. Unfortunately the mechanisms available to state governments to effectively implement and administer such a scheme are inadequate and consequently we have seen minimal take-up over recent weeks.
It is for these public health reasons that business and unions believe the federal government, together with relevant states, must urgently provide for and fund a national paid pandemic leave scheme. This scheme should include the following principles in its design:
- Amend the Fair Work Act to incorporate a leave entitlement consistent with the decision of the Fair Work Commission in relation to the aged care awards
- Provide for reimbursement to business to facilitate the leave entitlement. Mechanisms such as those used for jobkeeper or the paid parental leave payment appear appropriate
- Funded by the federal government and where necessary the relevant state governments.
Unions and business have shown an extraordinary level of cooperation and we welcome the opportunity to jointly discuss this scheme with you and work together to supress this wave of infections.
SA has had nine new cases in 10 days