Confirmation that the Andrews Labor Government will move to withdraw almost all fines issued for COVID-19 breaches underlines the inconsistent and unfair enforcement of lockdown rules.
As of October 2020, more than 19,000 fines had been issued to Victorians for breaches of COVID-19 restrictions, of which only 845 or around 4 per cent – had been paid in full.
Despite threating Victorians who failed to pay their fine that “we will come after you if you don’t”, Premier Daniel Andrews’ backflip acknowledges months of inconsistent enforcement of Labor’s ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions, including;
- failure to fine a single attendee at June Black Lives Matter or July CFMEU protests.
- withdrawal of 15 incorrectly issued fines relating to a lawful gathering at a Southbank party in July.
- Traralgon couple fined for posting photos on social media from a 2019 Lakes Entrance holiday.
- 17 year old L-Plate driver fined, having the fine withdrawn and then being issued with a late notice, for conducting a driving lesson with her mother.
With Victoria having issued more fines than any other jurisdiction, yet having so few be paid, it’s clear frontline police have been set up to fail by Labor’s chaotic and confusing COVID-19 rules.
Daniel Andrews’ failure to set and enforce fair and effective COVID-19 restrictions has undermined community confidence. It has left Victorians and frontline police second guessing themselves.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Community Safety, David Southwick:
“Daniel Andrews has pulled the rug out from under Victoria Police, and left frontline officers and Victorians second guessing themselves.
“Where does this leave enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions if we experience further outbreaks? And where does this leave law abiding citizens that have already paid the fines?
“From day one, Daniel Andrews’ inconsistent COVID-19 rules left the community confused and afraid. This fines failure highlights just how poorly this has been managed.”