NSW Police issued $45,000 in coronavirus fines over the past 24 hours with people giving bizarre reasons for breaking restrictions, including: ‘I want a pork roll’, ‘I want to smoke weed’, and ‘driving is a form of exercise’.
A wealthy motorist allegedly clapped his hands at police when they pulled him over in his $265,000 McLaren 650S at Potts Point near Kings Cross in Sydney’s east just after midnight on Saturday.
The 43-year-old man told officers he was going to nearby Woolloomooloo to get petrol for his expensive British sports car despite living in Sydney’s south-western suburb of Fairfield, 45km away, police said on Sunday.
One 22-year-old man said he was going to a friend’s house to ‘smoke weed’ and was promptly fined $1000, police said on Sunday
When the officers warned him, he allegedly told them ‘driving is a form of exercise’.
Police then fined both him and his 60-year-old passenger $1000 each for breaking coronavirus restrictions.
The man allegedly boasted about his fortune, saying: ‘do what you want mate, I don’t care. This $1000 fine won’t hurt with my $15 million.’
The two fines were among 45 ‘personal infringement notices’ issued by NSW Police in the past 24 hours for breaching coronavirus restrictions.
Under stage three restrictions in NSW, residents are only allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons, including for food, work or education, exercise and medical care or compassionate needs.
One woman said she wanted to go to Cabramatta to buy a pork roll but was fined $1000
Vietnamese pork rolls in ricepaper – the desire for this delicacy cost one woman a $1000 fine
Gatherings are restricted to no more than two people except for members of someone’s immediate household.
Disobeying a COVID-19 rule incurs a $1,000 fine in NSW.
NSW Police released some of the more bizarre reasons people gave while being fined for allegedly breaching coronavirus restrictions on Sunday.
A Fairfield man was fined $1000 while driving a McLaren 650S (stock image), worth upwards of $265,000, in Potts Point. He told police the fine wouldn’t dent his $15 million fortune
A 22-year-old man at a shopping centre in Sydney’s western suburb of Mount Druitt was asked why he was at a public place without a reasonable excuse just after 4pm on Saturday.
He told police he was on his way to a friend’s house to ‘smoke weed’, police said, so they fined him $1000.
A 19-year-old woman was questioned on Station Street in Sydney’s inner-western suburb of Enmore at 2am on Saturday.
She allegedly told police she was going to Lakemba in the city’s southwest to pay her rent and then drive to Cabramatta to buy a pork roll.
Police fined her $1000.
A 27-year-old man was hanging around Auburn Central Plaza in Sydney’s southwest about 10.30am on Saturday when police say they warned him of the restrictions and he left.
Australia’s coronavirus tally rose to 6612 on Sunday with almost half of all cases in NSW
But just before 3pm the officers said they spotted him back again and fined him $1000.
‘I thought you just meant go for an hour,’ the man allegedly said.
Other fines were for people allegedly gathering illegally or trying to visit their friends.
Police said they found four men congregating in a small room in Auburn, in Sydney’s southwest, with another man hiding behind the door about 8.40am on Saturday.
None of the men were related and only one of the men lived at the address, police said. Each one received a $1000 fine.
Just before 11am on Saturday morning, police saw a group of 10 people sitting in a park in Waterloo, in Sydney’s inner west.
The officers warned them and they left the park.
Later that day, police said they again saw two men from the group, aged in their 70s, in a park on Pitt Street with another group of people. Again they were warned and moved on, police said.
Half an hour later, about 2.45pm, the officers again saw the same two men, aged 71 and 77, and issued each of them with a $1000 fine.
Just after midday, police fined a 29-year-old man in Pendle Hill, in Sydney’s west, after he allegedly told them he was out to visit a friend.
In Newcastle, north of Sydney, police investigating reports of a party allegedly found six people on a balcony.
The officers told three of them to leave as they did not live there, but a 40-year-old man allegedly refused and yelled at police.
The man and his two companions, a 49-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman were all fined $1000 each.
It is not known how many coronavirus fines had been issued as of Sunday night, however NSW Police had issued 560 in the four weeks to Wednesday.
Fines across Australia are a controversial issue, as people are being penalised even while obeying strict rules to remain 1.5 metres apart in public.
Disobeying a COVID-19 rule incurs a $1,000 fine in NSW, Western Australia, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
In Queensland it’s $1,334.50, in Victoria it’s $1,652 and in the Northern Territory, $1,099.
In Victoria, the state’s deputy commissioner Shane Patton has promised to review every fine, after police interrupted a funeral despite mourners adhering to the 10-person rule.
SOCIAL DISTANCING LAWS EXPLAINED STATE-BY-STATE: HOW TO AVOID GETTING CAUGHT OUT
Gatherings are restricted to two people, with residents only allowed out of their homes for a few essential reasons.
This includes buying food or essential goods, getting a medical treatment or engaging in physical exercise.
You can also visit a terminally ill relative or attend a funeral.
Students are also allowed to attend childcare, school, college or university.
From April 3, the state’s borders will be closed to everyone except residents and essential workers.
New South Wales
NSW officials are also enforcing the two-person limit, with residents legally obliged to stay at home unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’.
This includes travelling to work or school, buying food or other essentials, exercise and medical reasons.
It is left up to police officers to decide who will get the fines, with the maximum being an $11,000 fine or six months in prison.
The state has also brought in the two-person limit inside and outside the home – not counting pre-exisitng members of the household.
Its chief medical officer Dr Brett Sutton confirmed an exception would made for people visiting their boyfriend or girlfriend if they lived separately.
Otherwise, people are allowed to leave the house for one of five reasons – shopping for food, work and education, care reasons, exercise or other extenuating circumstances.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT is also enforcing the two-person limit, but people are allowed up to two guests inside their homes – only if there is at least four square metres per person.
It also only allows people to leave home for essential reasons, including shopping for essentials, medical reasons, exercise, work or study.
Offenders are being issue with warnings, but may get a fine if they are found to be breaking the rules again.
As well as closing its borders to non-residents, WA has also introduced fines for people who cross out of their region.
Nine regions have been carved up, and people cannot move between them for anything but an essential reason.
This includes going to work, medical appointments, school or other types of education.
Drivers are also allowed to transport freight, and people can go to a shop outside of their area if the essentials are not available closer to home.
In NT, police are still enforcing a 10-person limit rather than just two people.
But chief minister Michael Gunner warned it may take further action if people don’t stick to the rules.
All non-essential arrivals in the state must self-quarantine for 14 days, and people are not allowed to visit remote communities.
Tasmania also has brought into law the two-person limit, with residents only allowed to leave home for essential reasons.
This includes shopping, exercising, and going to healthcare apppointments.
Going to a vet is also allowed, as is going to school or caring for another person.
Arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days.
SA has also stuck to the 10-person limit, with $1,000 on-the-spot fines for people who have a larger group.
Again, all arrivals into the state must self-isolate for 14 days.