Tough new penalties for those who breach COVID rules

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The message is clear but it is not getting through to all.

As Victoria announced 439 new COVID cases and 11 deaths this morning, Premier Daniel Andrews says the state has no option but to get tougher on people who bend or ignore the law.

Just days into a new six-week stage four lockdown in Melbourne, Mr Andrews revealed that Australian Defence Force (ADF) and state health officials had doorknocked 3000 people who were meant to be isolating and found in excess of 800 people were not at home. That’s more than one in four who were in violation of the laws – and too many not to impose new penalties, the state government decided.

He said on-the-spot fines of $4659 could now be issued to anyone meant to be isolating but found to be absent from home and “repeat breaches” could result in fines of up to $20,000.

Victoria Police would also have the power to detain anyone who continued to breach self-isolation orders.

Police minister Lisa Neville said: “We don’t want to do that, but Victoria Police, under the new powers, will have that ability to not just fine – but ultimately for those who continue to blatantly and deliberately breach those self-isolation rules, they can do that [be detained].”

She said dozens of people had already breached Melbourne’s 8pm to 5am curfew.

And from Tuesday, anyone who has the virus will be banned from leaving home – even for exercise.

“There will be no exercise,” said Mr Andrews, “if you are supposed to be isolating at home. You will need to stay in your home or on your property – fresh air at the front door, fresh air in your front yard or backyard, or opening a window. That’s what you’re going to have to do.

“If there were particularly selfish behaviour, like for instance going to work when you have the virus, then there is the alternative pathway and that is, of course, taking you to the Magistrates’ Court where the maximum penalty that can be applied to you is $20,000.

“I apologise to those who were doing the right thing but we have simply no choice.”

The team of doorknockers will be boosted by an additional 500 ADF personnel and 300 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) officers and “random and repeat doorknocks” would be made on people who have tested positive to COVID-19 and any close contacts.

In New South Wales, there are 12 new infections and former Australian Medical Association president Kerryn Phelps has called for masks to be made compulsory throughout the state and for flights from Victoria to be suspended.

“NSW is on a precipice and unless we take it seriously and actually have an effective closed border, we are going to see leakage of these cases from Victoria over to NSW,” Dr Phelps told Q+A on Monday night.

There were two new coronavirus cases in South Australia overnight – both women in their 20s.

In Melbourne, only supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, post offices and banks can remain open for the next six weeks. Hardware stores such as Bunnings will be open for tradespeople, but the public can access goods only via a ‘click and collect’ service. And movement is restricted to a five-kilometre radius.

Many industries, including meatworks, are being dramatically scaled back.

Burnet Institute research published in the Medical Journal of Australia found thatVictoria’s response to the second wave of COVID-19 had averted 9000 to 37,000 cases between 230 July.

Do you support the stiffer penalties for breaches of the rules? Do they go far enough?

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Written by Janelle Ward

68 Comments

Total Comments: 68
  1. 0
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    Excellent news.

    I await the barrage of Lib lovers telling us it’s ALL Dan’s fault. Nobody else has done anything wrong at all. Not Scott, by keeping the borders open. Not Scott (again) for handballing quarantine to the states, when it’s official a federal responsibility. Not the sex mad returning travellers and security guards.Not the security company which breached its contract by not training the guards properly. Not the thousands of people ignoring stay-at-home rules. Not the hopeless, incompetent, untrusting, nasty bosses who won’t let staff work from home even when they can. Not Scott (again) for the appalling mess that is aged care, another federal responsibility.

    No, it’s obviously ALL Dan’s fault.

  2. 0
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    Back to isolation grubs, living in nth qld is great, freedom, shopping, relaxing at the beach, no dictorian tourists and for amusement reading about them grizzling.

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      Yes FNQ is the place to be …However there are an increasing number of Vic Rego plated vehicles appearing up this way…and they are not rentals.

      Just hope we can keep it under control in our paradise..Unfortunately human nature being what is it that will be a challenge.
      Just on Comrade Andrews..of course not all his fault…but he has developed that cunning political ability to stand there ,call out the numbers..dispense advise and directions as if he is just a “ announcer “ with no hint of taking any responsibility.. Very clever is our Dan.
      “ You can fool most of the people most of the time..but not all of the people all of the time.” That is unless you come from..V….

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      Bakka, why be political?
      Cairns had people jumping across balconies in hotel quarantine.
      Stop with the communism thing too! If you are not a Victorian then lay off us down here.
      Show some compassion!

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      some of these states that rely upon tourism would do well to ponder the consequence if Victorians chose to boycott those states and spend their recreation dollars elsewhere.

    • 0
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      I don’t believe that you have heard Dan Andrews saying time and again. “I take responsibility…. the buck stops with me…”
      The man is doing the best he can. If you employed a security company to do a job for you you would expect to get some integrity from that company in their asking the right questions if they hadn’t heard/ understood exactly what was required of them.
      There’s far too much greed everywhere you look. Jump in, jump out and grab as much as you can for really shabby service.
      I believe that very few understood the real meaning of “pandemic ” and still less the dire consequences if it got out of hand.
      People in these very columns called it “flu,” a hoax, and so on.
      I believe that only the scientists really had an idea what could happen.
      Even Scomo was blase about it, and ready to go off to the footie , remember?
      And yes, I do believe in really strong punishment for people who disregard instructions.
      Most of them are probably under the age of 24, which means that their brains are not yet fully developed to the point where they fully understand consequences but they do understand a bit better if you hit them where it hurts.

  3. 0
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    “Do you support the stiffer penalties for breaches of the rules? Do they go far enough?”

    Yes, stiffer penalties must be imposed and repeat offenders charged and gaoled. That should show people that, at last, the Victorian government is prepared to do something positive to stop the virus spreading. It’s all well and good for those Labor supporters trying to protect Andrews from the barrage of legitimate criticism but simple statistics show that Victoria has got more problems with this virus than the rest of Australia combined. It’s the Victorian government that has been making the rules and is responsible for enforcing them so obviously if things go wrong then it’s only fair and reasonable to blame the administration.

  4. 0
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    You clowns are going to be very sorry about your positions in the not to distant future

  5. 0
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    Winston smith you forgot to blame Scott for allowing the BURN LOOT MURDER protesters march the large gathering of Muslims for the wedding and other Muslim celebrations. and other things like selecting the security contractor for the hotel that your favourite premier allowed.

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      I have no information about the Muslim gatherings, but even NewsCorp declared that no infections came for the protests. Note that’s plural, because they happened in every state, some bigger than the one in Melbourne. Why do Lib lovers lie? Because their heroes do?

    • 0
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      Actually Winston Smith, there were 6 confirmed cases among the BLM protesters. But that is not really the issue. The fact was that when other people were still being restricted in movements, the protesters were allowed to go ahead with their demonstration and 10,000 turned up in Melbourne with complete impunity.

      As a direct result of that, Melbornians saw no reason to continue to comply with the level of restrictions at the time because there were no repercussions on any of those 10,000. Ignoring social distancing, not self isolating when told to, gathering in large groups, refusing to wear masks, continuing to work when sick (especially with mild symptoms), can all be traced back to the double standards on display over the BLM marches.

      And that comes on top of Victorian Government failures around mandated quarrantine, and a litany of other errors by their health Minister. There is plenty of blame to go round but the lion’s share does rest with the State Government and Mr Andrews’ failure to take action even when they were aware of non-compliance.

      Ultimately though, every single one of us has a personal responsibility to do everything we can to help prevent the continued spread of COVID-19. And frankly, two weeks without exercise, staying in your own home, wearing a mask when required, maintaining social distancing at all times especially with people you do not live with, and washing hands regularly and not big asks even when doing all of these things.

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      ” there were 6 confirmed cases among the BLM protesters”

      And there you go using the standard misleading language right wing nutters have been using since these protests happened. Your statement may be true, but says absolutely nothing about whether there was any spread of the virus at the rally. After reading that pointless first sentence, I stopped.

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      the protesters that returned positive results were infected before the protest and only became symptomatic and infectious in the days after.

  6. 0
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    I don’t agree with lockdowns, look at the facts! Where is common sense? We are all being duped. Millions of people suffering because of a so-called virus that kills even less people than a normal seasonal flu virus!

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      And the earth is flat, and we didn’t go to the moon. Bill Gates with sneak in and vaccinate you in your sleep.

      Dill.

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      Less, really? What are you in the medical profession?

      Seems to me the numbers prove the virus is far worse than the flu. 650,000 a year die with the flu, the virus in 6 months has seen 697,000 deaths so far, and here’s the big one…..the world has been in different levels of RESTRICTIONS……der.

      How can any sane person compare “normal” year flu numbers with this virus when we haven’t been moving around anywhere near as much as normal. Take away restrictions, allow the entire population to keep moving around, going to pubs, getting drunk, falling over each other and see where these virus numbers would go.

      It doesn’t take much brain power to realise this virus IS a major issue, people like you are part of the problem, obviously don’t care, don’t want restrictions and think for some ridiculous reason the politicians are enjoying seeing their economies be decimated. Grow up fool.

    • 0
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      Franky, we need this thinking like we need a hole in the head. If you are on this site you are probably old enough to know better.
      Plus everything Greg said.

    • 0
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      I had this sent to me:
      All these doctors, nurses, immunologists, microbiologists, epidemiologists and other researchers are telling us Covid-19 is dangerous but all these people that barely passed science in high school keep saying it’s not. It’s hard to know who to believe anymore!

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      Trouble is Franky even if we have been duped we will never know, as much as we will never know if this was man made virus, because we have to rely on what is being told, any whistleblower or anyone who questions anything is called a conspiracist. We do not even know if the data that is being collected is true or not, we have to trust so many in the scheme of things. And can we even trust WHO?

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      duh Franky, covid is only killing even less people than a normal seasonal flu virus for now because of the interventions. Who are the millions suffering??? Get a grip, millions inconvenienced maybe, but suffering, no, it’s not like auschwitz or one of the refugee camps.

    • 0
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      The suffering Farside comes from those losing their jobs, businesses, houses and the ability in some cases to buy food, not everyone qualifies for Government assistance and if they did the wait is long. Please do not compare to nazi and refugee camps, do they have to suffer as bad to say they are suffering? How uncaring you are.

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      cry me a river Incognito, this is a time to embrace resilience rather than self-pity. The spanish flu by comparison infected 40% of the population and killed about 0.3% (75,000 in 2020 terms). The term “suffering’ is thrown around too loosely in the media in search of headlines. To call present actions dealing with a 1/100 year pandemic ‘suffering’, is a hyperbolic insult to those that have lived through actual suffering. Just think of people who have recently gone through drought, fire, flood and the virus in short succession and how they might feel. Yes, there will be casualties and collateral consequences from the pandemic response for those affected, undoubtedly stressful and possibly even devastating, but these will eventually become memories and be replaced by a new normal. Eventually this pandemic will end, we will tally the costs, lick our wounds and learn its lessons.

      For most of us, the extent of our “suffering” is stay at home and if you go out, observe the guidelines – scarcely a huge imposition. Sure we might have less money, less choice but it is what it is. We have more options, means and awareness to cope with isolation, mental health and fallout from this crisis than ever before. Past “suffering” is a far cry from where we are today in our short-term lockdown, something that is stricter than needed because so many of our community are ignoring, disinterested or subverting the CHO public health directives.

      For much of the last century few Australians would consider life in contemporary Victoria with its comfort, services and safety nets construe suffering. The increased Jobseeker and Jobkeeper allowances, accommodation for the homeless, food parcels and care packages, psychological support and so on are social supports that would have been unimagined even a couple of decades ago. Do you remember what Melbourne was like in previous downturns? Are you unfamiliar with what life was like with rationing in the depression and war years?

  7. 0
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    About time Victoria got tough on those that don’t follow the rules, I just hope other states now implement harsher penalties.

    Yes Winston, Dan can’t hide from the mess in Vic, it is his Govts fault.

    • 0
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      Obviously.

      Nobody else has done anything wrong at all. Not Scott, by keeping the borders open. Not Scott (again) for handballing quarantine to the states, when it’s official a federal responsibility. Not the sex mad returning travellers and security guards.Not the security company which breached its contract by not training the guards properly. Not the thousands of people ignoring stay-at-home rules. Not the hopeless, incompetent, untrusting, nasty bosses who won’t let staff work from home even when they can. Not Scott (again) for the appalling mess that is aged care, another federal responsibility.

      No, it’s obviously ALL Dan’s fault.

      You idiot.

    • 0
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      Clearly Winston with the calibre your comments (in the main) you have proved yourself to be the intolerant idiot . So common in left wing ALP or Green Voters.

    • 0
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      I acknowledge that my previous comment finished with a seeming insult, but at least I preceded that with considerable reasoning to justify what you read as intolerance. Your post is pure insult. No other content at all.

      How about discussing the rest of what I wrote?

      (BTW, I’m proud to be a leftie and a greenie. Those bits aren’t insults to me.)

    • 0
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      Thanks for your support Mitzy.
      Glad I’m not in the leftie/greenie camp, life must be such a grind each day.

    • 0
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      So TMac, all you can do is have a love-in with Mitzy, not produce any rational argument.

    • 0
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      Winston please, give your blood pressure a rest and take the rest of the day off

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      Blood pressure’s fine thanks. Feeling very relaxed, because I’m happy that the Vic government is doing the right thing. We’re are heading in a positive direction, despite the best efforts of the Liberal Party and its fans to sabotage everything.

      Oh, BTW, speaking of the Liberal Party, do you have any idea who and where the Victorian Opposition Leader is?

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      The rest of Australia thinks Andrews is an incompetent fool. This is the guy who wants to sell Victoria to China. Even Labor supporters I have spoken to thinks the PM has done an outstanding job.

    • 0
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      Winston Smith, to answer your question: Michael O’Brien is the current Opposition Leader in Victoria and he appears almost daily either supporting the most recent actions or criticising them as he believes necessary. The fact you don’t know this just adds further evidence of your rather one-sided view of things.

      Still I concede that is your personal view to which you are entitled. What you are not entiled to do is make personal insults at other contributors who have as much right as you to express their opinion which may well not accord with your own.

    • 0
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      KSS – I use facts. Others use opinions.

    • 0
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      KSS to clarify your point on Michael O’Brien he stated before Andrews lifted Stage 3 restrictions that he was too slow and should have lifted earlier. Subsequently he is then on record, once the infection rate went up as stating that Andrews lifted the restriction too early. He also made statements that clearly showed that he didn’t know that Aged Care is a federal responsibility.
      Yes Andrews has made mistakes but given the circumstances is that really surprising?

  8. 0
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    Instead of door knocking why aren’t they ringing them – that way they can be tracked if they are out and about.

  9. 0
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    So Dan’s had enough. Well I and most people who have lost loved ones in care homes have had enough. Huge penalties for folk who don’t bend to his will but not a word on the historic lethargy that, in my opinion, has caused 1/3 of deaths.
    As I read it the eleven deaths have been from care homes. How many of the total deaths would not have happened if the government’s had listened to the complaints of abuse, and neglect in care homes and done something about it. The elderly patients would have been stronger, healthier and have immune systems with a bit of fight in them. The people who should be fined heavily are the uncaring politicians who don’t have to be in lockdown, haven’t had to give up their freedom, are not losing money in either salary or super.

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      Nursing homes are the responsibility of the federal government.

    • 0
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      Triss, I’ll endorse what Paddington has written. The appalling conditions in nursing homes are entirely due to appalling attitudes to them by Liberal federal governments. Minimising genuine health care workers. Much hiring of cheap, untrained casual staff on unreliable contracts, forcing them to work in more than one centre to make ends meet, and to come into work when sick. Perfect recipe for spreading disease.

      Oh, yes, and designed to produce maximum profits for shareholders. You might want to research who many of them are.

      So please, lay the blame where it truly belongs, in Scott’s lap.

    • 0
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      Winston, only a little bit of blame in Scotties lap, the genesis of the problem in nursing homes goes back years before he was even in Parliament. Turnbull, Abbott, Rudd, Gillard, Howard, Keating et al, each bear some of the responsibility for ignoring the potential problems in aged care and leaving the problems for their successors.

    • 0
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      Eddy and Paddington, where is your humanity? When frail and sick people are being neglected and abused doing nothing because “It’s somebody else’s job” is never acceptable. State politicians knew about the crimes therefore if they did nothing they were as guilty as the federal.

    • 0
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      State politicians cannot overrule the awards and working conditions of those spreading disease through nursing homes. Where is YOUR humanity in supporting the callous, purely profit driven Liberal Party?

      BTW, the current rules brought in by the Andrews government will help, but they can only be temporary. The federal government has to change the working conditions long term. Will it?

    • 0
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      I’m sure Victoria will be better off under Chinese rule. Perhaps Andrews will be the Governor.

    • 0
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      MarkAdel – That’s a standard response of a wilfully ignorant Lib lover – Interrupt an intelligent conversation with irrational dogma.

    • 0
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      Eddy the basic problems in Aged Care can be tracked back to John Howard when he privatised them and also introduced Work Choices which allowed the casualisation of the work force and particularly the lower paid.
      There have in fact been very few cases in the Victorian State owned and run aged care facilities as they have been managed and staffed in a proper manner.

  10. 0
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    A bottlle shop is an essential commodity like a chemist or supermarket? Just shows you where the priorities are in this absurd situation. Only essential places should be open.
    I wonder how hard the lobbysists are working on the piss weak politicians we have in this country who are so easily influenced. This will never be fixed if governments don’t do what they preach and make these shutdowns more effective.

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