A woman who breached Bunnings’ policy by refusing to wear a mask has filmed herself berating workers and threatening to sue the hardware chain over the rule.
The outburst is believe to have occurred at the Narra Warren Bunnings store in Melbourne’s south east on Friday, a day after the state government made face masks mandatory for residents in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire while out in public.
The video of the extraordinary rant was posted on Facebook on Sunday as Victoria recorded 459 new coronavirus cases and ten deaths, prompting Daniel Andrews to slam ‘selfish’ residents refusing to wear masks.
The footage begins with the woman filming as she briskly walks through the store while an employee can be heard tailing behind her.
‘Excuse me,’ the worker calls out, trying to get her attention.
‘Excuse me, you need a mask on.’
The woman turns around and storms toward the Bunnings staff member.
The bizarre outburst, which is believed to have occurred at a Bunnings in Melbourne, began after an employee (pictured) told the woman she was required to wear a mask in store
‘I beg your pardon?’ she says in hostile manner, drawing the camera up towards the employee’s face.
‘It’s alright,’ the worker says calmly, trying to diffuse the situation.
‘I was just asking if you have a mask.’
The woman retorts: ‘Well it is clear I don’t, and you are not authorised to ask me or question me about it.’
The worker asks the woman if she would like to discuss the issue with her manager, before guiding her to speak with her boss.
When the manager informs the woman she must have a medical certificate to be permitted in the store without a mask, the woman unleashes a tirade about how the store’s policy is illegal and she is being discriminated against.
‘Actually I don’t need a medical certificate,’ she says, as the manager politely requests she stops filming.
‘No. I am allowed to do this and your discriminating against me.’
‘We are not discriminating against you, we are just all trying to be in this together,’ the manager replies,’ and we all just need to wear a mask.’
The woman was then directed to the store’s manager (pictured) who told the hostile shopper it was the store’s policy that customers wear face masks
‘All in what together? You are not authorised by the Australian government to even question me about it,’ she claims.
A male member of staff chimes in to tell the woman it is a condition of entry to their store, prompting the woman to bizarrely claim the company’s rule is sexist.
‘Well then that is discrimination and I can have you sued personally for discriminating against me as a woman,’ she says.
‘We are not discriminating against anyone, it is a condition of entry to all Bunnings store, we require everyone to wear a mask,’ he says.
‘You are,’ she continues, ‘it is an unlawful condition of entry.’
‘Therefore that exposes you personally and Bunnings to being sued for discrimination because it is in breach of the 1948 Charter of Human rights to discriminate men and women.’
The male employee then calmly asks her to stop filming multiple times, all of which she refuses, citing the necessity of the recording as vital evidence of the ‘discrimination’ against her.
A male employee (pictured) chimed in to reiterate the regulation when the woman refused to listen to the manager’s instructions, but the aggressive customer began accusing the staff of ‘discrimination’ against her as a woman and threatening to sue them and the hardware chain
The woman then tells the man she will be proceed to shop in the store and there is nothing they could do to stop her because the regulation is ‘illegal’.
Other videos posted on Facebook show the woman later being arrested by two police officers outside in the Lauderdale Road car park.
After being handcuffed, the woman handed over a medical certificate to show she had an exemption from wearing a face mask.
When more officers arrived at the scene, the woman was removed from the cuffs but launched a debate with officers as to why her arrest was unlawful.
She claimed legislation in place allowing police to arrest her was not voted upon by Australians or approved by the monarch.
‘You’re talking about legislation that hasn’t been presented to parliament three times, we the people haven’t given our consent to act under it, and it hasn’t been consented by the queen,’ she says.
‘That legislation is fraudulent. It doesn’t apply to me.’
‘Legislation and acts can’t apply to living humans. They only apply to dead people.’
Growing impatient, the sergeant says he is not going to argue over her ‘opinion’ about the law.
Another video posted on Facebook shows the woman later being arrested by two police officers outside in the Lauderdale Road car park (pictured)
The woman was removed from handcuffs after presenting a medical exemption, but then began debating with officers (pictured) about how the arrest was ‘unlawful’ because legislation allowing the police to arrest people was not ‘consented by the queen’
‘That’s your personal belief, but that is not the law we work under,’ he says.
‘I am not going enter into an argument about what you believe the law is. That is a conversation between you and the judicial system.’
Police tell the woman she is free to leave, and she asks for each officer’s details before they depart.
Bunnings announced earlier in the week that face masks would be required for customers in the Melbourne and Mitchell Shire stores as Victoria battles to contain a horror second wave of COVID-19.
The regulation coincided with the state government’s order that made masks mandatory for residents in those areas to wear while in a public places from Thursday.
Rick Sarre, the Adjunct Professor of Law and Criminal Justice at the University of South Australia, says Australian businesses have the right to require customers to wear face masks.
‘Australian law, quite simply, says that private landowners or occupiers can take reasonable steps to protect themselves, their employees and people on their property,’ he wrote in The Conversation.
‘So it would be legal for businesses – including cafes and supermarkets – to make it a condition of entry that customers wear a mask and sanitise their hands.’
The video has since gone viral, racking up more than 1400 comments and over 600 reactions.
In a video posted to Facebook on Saturday, the officers told the irate woman she was committing a crime but she threatened to sue them for ‘armed kidnapping’ if they attempted to arrest her
Australians flocked to the comments section to praise the stoic reaction of the Bunnings workers and slam the woman’s behaviour.
‘Well done to all the Bunnings staff for staying calm and professional through this!’ one person wrote.
‘This woman is a prime example of a really rubbish human being. She’d rather win an argument by bullying someone than think about how she’s making other people feel and putting them at risk.’
Another added: ‘She should show her own face if she thinks she is innocent. These staff did Bunnings proud. I hope they get recommended for it! We all don’t like wearing a mask but if it means we can get back to normal then so be it!’
Police are tied up dealing with people who have long confrontations with staff at businesses that enforce mask wearing as a condition of entry.
Other obstinate Victorians rage at officers at checkpoints, including conspiracy theorists who believe they are above the law.
People who don’t wear a mask face a $200 fine, and Mr Andrews hit out at a series of ‘sovereign citizens’ who claim the directive is invalid.
A post on her Facebook page defending her freedom has attracted widespread criticism from the public
‘If it was a genuine error, a sense of any confusion – police use good judgement,’ he said.
They are about trying to shall fair as they possibly can be, but if you are just making a selfish choice that your alleged personal liberty, quoting some, I don’t know, something you’ve read on some website – this is not about human rights.
‘There are 10 families that are going to be burying someone in the next few days. Wear a mask! It’s not too much to ask.
‘What’s more, the nurse who will be treating you or a loved one, they will be wearing a mask, so you wear one to prevent that nurse from having to treat more patients.
‘It can’t get any more serious than that. Ten families are currently planning funerals. And the youngest among them, this he have’ lost someone in their 40s.’
The incident joins a growing list of videos circulating online from around the globe of people rebelling against COVID-19 regulations.
Eve Black, from Melbourne, shared footage on Thursday of herself driving past an officer at a COVID-19 police barricade
On Saturday, a Melbourne woman filmed an encounter she had with police who requested her details after she was found in public without face protection.
When she declined to hand over her identification, the officers told her she was under arrest and being taken back to the station.
‘I do not consent to that and I will be suing you personally. Not your department. You will be personally sued for $60,000 each,’ she said.
‘If you do arrest us we will be suing you for armed kidnapping.’
The videos uploaded onto the woman’s personal Facebook drew widespread criticism from the public.
In two other Melbourne altercations last week, a man filmed his incredible 22 minute argument with police after refusing to wear a face mask while a woman filmed herself driving past an officer at a police barricade.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Victoria Police for comment.