$6500 in fines for 'reckless' youths ignoring health advice
A NOISY party in a Maroochydore hotel overnight led police to issue thousands of dollars in fines to a group of young people breaching the Chief Health Officer's directives.
Staff at the hotel, which police did not name, contacted authorities as soon as they became aware of the party in one of the rooms.
Acting Superintendent Jason Overland said five Sunshine Coast residents aged between 17 and 25 were each issued fines of $1334.50.
The group claimed to have no knowledge of the Covid-19 pandemic or social distancing directions.
"I find that hard to believe but I understand that's something they can probably raise with the magistrate if they wish to," Act Supt Overland said.
"It is disappointing to see the degree of planning that has gone into this. Maybe the message isn't getting through but I'm sure that $6500 worth of fines will help get that through.
"... It is irresponsible and reckless."
Australians have been urged to stay home unless carrying out essential work or for essential needs.
Police officers can take action against anyone who is failing to comply with public health directions set out by the CHO.
Officers can also issue on the spot fines of $1334 for individuals and $6672 for corporations which fail to abide by the health directions.
"The message is clear," Act Supt Overland said.