$5,000 on-the-spot fine for breaching Victorian isolation rules.
In a press conference on Tuesday morning, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews announced the penalty for breaching isolation rules in the state has increased.
"As everyone has become very well aware, there is a $1,652 on-the-spot fine if you breach the directions of the chief health officer," he said. "There is also a $200 penalty for not wearing a mask when you are out of your home. Not too many of those fines have had to be issued and in the general scheme of things, even the $1,652 fine – that’s only used where it’s deemed appropriate and, again, the vast majority of people are doing the right thing.
"But there are a number of [people] who are not. That’s why I can announce today a new on-the-spot spine, in fact the largest on the-spot fine on the statute books in Victoria – $4,659, but ultimately a $5,000 on-the-spot spine and that will be particularly for those who breach their isolation orders.
"If you are supposed to be at home and you are not, then you face the prospect of a fine of up to $5,000. If there were repeat breaches, if there were particularly selfish behaviour like, for instance, going to work when you had 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."
Police minister Lisa Neville said Victorian police had seen "a number of people breach the curfew".
"Somebody who decided they were bored and they were going to go out for a drive, somebody who decided that they needed to buy a car after 8pm last night, drive across the city of Melbourne and we’ve also seen people who have picked up people from other households, again breaching the direction and then also briefing the curfew," she said.
"All of those people were infringed last night. So be in no doubt Victoria Police are using their powers to do that. They will have extra police out there."
Police commissioner Shane Patton then addressed the media.
"In the last week, we’ve seen a trend, an emergence if you like, of groups of people - small groups, but nonetheless concerning groups - who classify themselves as sovereign citizens - whatever that might mean - people who don’t think the law applies to them," he said.
"We’ve seen them at checkpoints baiting police, not providing a name and address.
"On at least four occasions in the last week, we’ve had to smash the windows of cars and pull people out to provide details because they weren’t adhering to the Chief Health Officer guidelines, they weren’t providing their name and address.
"We don’t want to be doing that, but people have to absolutely understand there are consequences for your actions and if you’re not doing the right thing, we will not hesitate to issue infringements, to arrest you, to detain you where it’s appropriate."