Queensland Police will issue fines to those disobeying social distancing. Photo: Kevin Farmer
Queensland Police will issue fines to those disobeying social distancing. Photo: Kevin Farmer

Cop’s warning if you ‘blatantly’ disobey rules

NOOSA police have not yet issued any fines to people for not complying with social distancing measures, but the local police office-in-charge warns it will only be a matter of time if people keep "blatantly" flouting the rules.

Senior Sergeant Ben Carroll said local police have issued serval warnings in the Noosa region since tough measures came into place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"Most of the time officers have been educating the public," Snr-Sgt Carroll said.

"We understand rules are changing by the day so we are doing what we can to help people understand."

"As far as I know they have been no fines issued at Noosa yet."

He said while they were overall pleased with community behaviour he said penalties will be coming for those who are "blatantly" ignoring rules.

"The vast majority of our local Noosa and hinterland community has been highly cooperative and compliant with the directions," he said.

"Unfortunately we are still observing instances where individuals or groups ignore or even blatantly disregard these Directions, particularly in public spaces."

He said police were working with Noosa and Sunshine Coast Councils and Surf Life Saving Queensland to work on keeping beaches open.

"We want our beaches, Noosa River and public spaces to remain open for everyone's enjoyment but you must only go there for a permitted purpose, being exercise."

"This means if you go to the beach you must practice social distancing and only be there to exercise.

"Sunbaking, beach lounging, reading a book or dining/gathering are not permitted purposes at any beach or public space."

"Similarly, buying takeaway and sitting in a park, on the river or at the beach is not a permitted purpose, even if you think you are sitting well away from others."

"The rules apply to everyone equally and it is not fair for some to flout the rules for their own enjoyment while the majority of people comply by staying home."

Snr-Sgt Carroll said even those who were just sitting on the beach alone were breaking the rules.

"We cannot be any clearer. The message is simple. Stay at home unless you are performing a permitted activity."

Queensland Police can issue a $1334.00 infringement to those disobeying orders made by the Chief Health Officer under the Public Health Act.

To date Queensland police have issued 174 fines across the state.