Daniel Andrews’ handpicked fines risk community safety

Confirmation that the three Sydney removalists responsible for triggering Victoria’s current outbreak have yet to be fined is the latest inconsistency in Labor’s enforcement of public health orders and penalties since March 2020. 

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton has confirmed the Sydney removalists that travelled to Melbourne on July 8 and breached their permit conditions have yet to be fined by Victoria Police as the matter is still with the Victorian Health Department.  

This comes despite comments from COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar nine days ago that authorities will “throw the book” at the removalists. 

Additionally, Chief Commissioner Patton confirmed that over $100,000 worth of fines had been issued relating to COVID-19 breaches at the Pastoral Hotel in Echuca, hundreds of kilometres from any known COVID-19 exposure site. 

Furthermore, this follows recent confirmation that the City of Hume family who infected 12 others after breaching isolation by visiting a supermarket in Craigieburn will not be fined. 

Whilst everyone should be following the current health directions, Daniel Andrews’ handpicked fines undermine community confidence and Victorians deserve these rules be enforced fairly and consistently. 

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Crime Prevention, David Southwick: 

“When the rules seem to apply to everyone but those doing the wrong thing, it’s little wonder why the community has lost confidence in the Andrews Labor Government’s confusing and inconsistent rules.

“Everyone should be following the current health directions yet Victorians expect these rules are enforced fairly and consistently.

“When a publican hundreds of kilometres from known outbreaks is fined yet those who have disobeyed public health orders and triggered our current outbreak escape punishment – Victorians will be rightfully questioning where the priorities of the Andrews Labor Government lie.”  

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