Sydney business and alleged repeat offender among latest Public Health Order infringements

A man will face court today after police allege he did not comply with self-isolation ministerial directions in Sydney on three separate occasions.

On Wednesday 18 March 2020, a 30-year-old man arrived at Sydney International Airport on a flight from Jordan, and was advised he would be required to self-isolate for a 14-day period.

On Saturday 20 March 2020, he was arrested by police attached to Fairfield City Police Area Command at Edensor Park for an outstanding warrant and granted court bail, which included a condition that he obey the directions of the Health Minister to self-isolate.

About 1.20am Saturday 28 March 2020, the man was stopped by the Eastern Beaches Proactive Crime Team in Banksia Street, Pagewood and issued with a $1000 Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) for failing to comply with a direction under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW).

About 10pm the same evening, officers from Sydney City Police Area Command spoke to the man on Pitt Street in Sydney’s CBD. He was arrested and later charged for breach of bail and non-compliance with a ministerial direction under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW).

He was granted conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday 6 May 2020.

Due to the man’s failure to self-isolate at his home address at Edensor Park, a Public Health Order was also served upon him directing him to do so at a serviced apartment at Camperdown.

Yesterday (Sunday 29 March 2020), the man was taken to the Camperdown apartments where police will allege he again failed to comply and was arrested while attempting to leave the accommodation.

He was taken to Sydney City Police Station and charged with not comply with Public Health Order under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW). He was refused bail and will appear in Central Local Court today (Monday 30 March 2020).

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said some people are just not getting the severity of the situation.

“This repeat offender’s reckless and selfish behaviour could have dangerous consequences to the community at large at a time when the vast majority are united to protect lives,” Minister Elliott said.

“I commend police on their continued efforts to ensure those who breach self-isolation directions face the full force of the law. This includes an on-the-spot fine of $1000 for individuals, and a maximum $11000 fine and six months imprisonment where a Court Attendance Notice is issued.”

In a separate incident, three infringements were issued after police uncovered a restaurant operating on George Street in Sydney overnight.

Officers attached to Sydney City Police Area Command were conducting a patrol in the Sydney CBD when they observed about 8-10 males inside a Japanese restaurant playing poker and drinking alcohol.

As police entered the restaurant, a number of males fled the scene.

Officers spoke with the male business owner and issued him with a $5000 PIN for failing to comply with a ministerial direction under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW).

Two men were also issued with $1000 PINs.

Inquiries continue with further action expected to be taken regarding illegal gaming and licensing offences.

NSW Police Force Commissioner Mick Fuller said police will continue to do everything possible to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19.

“The actions police have taken so far indicate how serious we are in the fight to ensure the safety of the people of New South Wales,” Commissioner Fuller said.

“Officers will be doing everything in their power to ensure compliance – but we will not succeed in stopping the spread of this virus unless we have the community’s cooperation.”

NSW Police officers now have the additional power to issue Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) to anyone found to be in contravention of a ministerial direction under the Public Health Act.

PINs carry on-the-spot fines of $1000 for individuals and $5000 for businesses.

Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Teen charged after allegedly coughing on council ranger – Waverton

A teenager has been charged after allegedly coughing on and attempting to spit at a council ranger in Sydney’s lower North Shore yesterday.

Just before 4pm (Sunday 29 March 2020), a council ranger attended a reserve on Balls Head Drive, Waverton, following reports of a group illegally camping at the location.

The ranger – a 54-year-old man – spoke to a family to inform them camping at the location was prohibited.

Police will allege a member of the family – a 15-year-old boy – verbally abused the ranger, before coughing directly at him and attempting to spit in his direction.

Officers from North Shore Police Area Command were notified and attended the reserve, before speaking with the boy.

Following inquiries, police returned to the reserve and arrested the boy about 8.30pm the same day.

He was taken to Chatswood Police Station and charged with common assault and stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm.

The teen is due to appear at a children’s court on Tuesday 16 June 2020.

 

Commissioner Fuller urges compliance as mandatory quarantine comes into effect

State Emergency Operations Controller, NSW Police Force Commissioner Mick Fuller, is urging community compliance after mandatory quarantine measures came into effect today.

From this morning (Sunday 29 March 2020), anyone entering Australia is subject to a ministerial direction requiring them to self-isolate immediately on arrival for 14 days.

NSW Police Force is working with a number of state and federal agencies including NSW Health, Australian Border Force (ABF), Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Defence Force (ADF), to ensure this direction is adhered to.

All arrivals over the coming days will be provided with comfortable accommodation and will be able to stay in touch with family and friends over the phone and internet.

NSW Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said this was a vital step in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

“The data shows more than 60% of cases across the state are returned travellers,” Mr Elliott said.

“We need to ensure these individuals aren’t bringing COVID-19 home before we allow them to have close contact with other members of the community.

“This virus is incredibly virulent, and is continuing to spread, threatening our elderly and vulnerable members of the population.

“These measures are absolutely necessary to ensure we do our best to stop the spread.”

Commissioner Fuller said officers would be enforcing the quarantine period and would not hesitate to use the appropriate action against individuals who do not comply.

“Anyone who doesn’t comply will be breaking the law – it’s as simple as that. People need to take this seriously,” Commissioner Fuller said.

“This is an unprecedented operation and I would urge recent arrivals to help police in their efforts to protect the state by complying with these new restrictions.

“While most people in NSW are adhering to the government’s health directions, there is still a small minority of irresponsible individuals who continue to flout the rules and put others at risk.

“It’s because of them that need to have these types of restrictions in place.”

Commissioner Fuller said significant care was being taken to ensure those in quarantine remained comfortable for the duration of their self-isolation period.

“The NSW Police Force and our government partners have dedicated significant resources to ensure these individuals are provided with comfortable accommodation and are able to stay in touch with family and friends,” Commissioner Fuller said.

“All arrivals will be provided with comprehensive information regarding their obligations and what they are/aren’t allowed to do.

“I understand this is unprecedented, and that people would rather be at home. But we are dealing with an unprecedented situation, and we need to adapt accordingly.

“My priority has always been, and will continue to be, the safety of the community in NSW.”

Anyone found to be in contravention of a ministerial direction is subject to heavy penalties, which can include Personal Infringement Notices (PINs) of $1000 for individuals and $5000 for businesses.

Court Attendance Notices (CANs) can also be issued, which carry a maximum penalty of an $11,000 fine and/or jail time.

Man and woman fined for breach of COVID-19 self-isolation direction – Boggabri

A man and woman have been fined after failing to follow self-isolation ministerial directions in the state’s west today.

On Tuesday (24 March 2020), a 22-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman, arrived at Sydney International Airport on a flight from Thailand. They were advised they would be required to quarantine for a 14-day period under a Public Health Order at a Hillvue address.

Officers attached to Oxley Police District received information the pair had travelled from Hillvue to Boggabri on Friday 27 March 2020, where they came into contact with another person.

Today (Saturday 28 March 2020), police spoke to the couple at a Hillvue address. They have each been issued with a $1000 PIN for failing to comply with a direction under Section 7 of the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW).

NSW Police officers have the additional power to issue Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) to anyone found to be in contravention of a ministerial direction under the Public Health Act.

PINs carry on-the-spot fines of $1000 for individuals and $5000 for businesses.

 

Information for family and friends of travellers returning to Sydney from Sunday 29 March 2020

NSW Police is urging the families and friends of travellers returning to Sydney International Airport from 6am on Sunday 29 March 2020 not to come to the airport to greet those travellers as they will not be able to see them or physically communicate with them upon their arrival.

The travellers will be processed discreetly before being taken to their nominated hotels. They will then be able to get in touch with family and friends.

There are no areas in the Sydney International Airport in which family and friends will be able to see the returned travellers or make contact with them.

We understand this is unprecedented, but it is a vital step in trying to stop the spread of COVID-19.

BILLIONS IN TAX RELIEF FOR BUSINESS, $1 BILLION FUND FOR JOBS, AND HELP FOR THE VULNERABLE

The NSW Government today released the second stage of its economic package aimed at keeping people in jobs, helping businesses and supporting our most vulnerable in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key elements of the NSW COVID-19 stage two package include:

Keeping people in jobs and helping businesses stay afloat

  • The creation of a $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain employees. The fund is already being put in to action with 1000 new staff for Service NSW announced this week to be funded by the program. The Working for NSW fund will comprise $750 million in new funding and $250 million announced last week for additional cleaning services.
  • Deferral of payroll tax for business with payrolls over $10 million for six months (up to $4 billion deferred). Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less received a three-month waiver on payroll tax in the first package. These businesses will now get an additional three month deferral as well.
  • Deferral of gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, and lotteries tax for six months, conditional on these funds being used to retain staff. This improves liquidity and helps these businesses stay afloat.
  • Deferral of the parking space levy for six months.
  • Deferral of rents for six months for commercial tenants with less than 20 employees in all Government-owned properties.

Helping our most vulnerable

  • $34 million boost in funding to prevent homelessness.
  • $30 million to boost the Energy Accounts Payments Assistance scheme.
  • $10 million to support charities and $6 million additional funding for Lifeline’s operations in NSW.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the NSW Government’s package will support employment, provide relief for business and protect those most in need.

‘‘These are unprecedented times and if we are to emerge in the best shape possible we need to ensure businesses keep their heads above water and keep employees on the books,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Now is the time for all of us to work together, support each-other, show compassion and lend a hand wherever we can to those hurting.

“We will do whatever it takes to help businesses stay afloat so that they can hold onto as many jobs as possible as we get through this crisis. We will also be there to support those most vulnerable to ensure no one is left behind.”

NSW last week announced a $2.3 billion funding package which included a $700 million to boost health and $1.6 billion for tax cuts and job creation.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the new measures were timely, targeted and temporary and had been “designed for maximum impact and immediate effect”.

“The NSW Government is leading from the front with a package which complements the stimulus measures delivered by the Commonwealth and RBA,” Mr Perrottet said.

“When you combine this announcement with last week’s stimulus package the NSW Government is ensuring billions are available to help business, support jobs, boost our health system and protect the vulnerable.

“Our expectation is that any relief provided by the NSW Government will be used to contribute to help businesses stay in business and people stay in jobs. It’s vital we keep people employed and ensure we have the ability to rebound when things improve.”

UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS MEASURES

Australian governments met today as the National Cabinet to take further action to slow the spread of coronavirus to save lives, and to save livelihoods.

We will be living with this virus for at least six months, so social distancing measures to slow this virus down must be sustainable for at least that long to protect Australian lives, to help Australia to keep functioning and to keep Australians in jobs.

National Cabinet noted the latest statistics and medical advice in relation to COVID-19.

There are more than 3,000 confirmed cases in Australia and sadly 13 people have died. Of the newly reported cases in the last week, the majority have been from New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

National Cabinet noted that the vast majority (around 85%) of cases in Australia remain overseas acquired or locally acquired contacts of a confirmed case.

Testing keeps Australians safe. Australia has one of the most rigorous coronavirus testing systems in the world with more than 180,000 tests completed – more than the USA, France or the UK, which have much larger populations. Australia’s per capita testing rate is amongst the highest in the world, now surpassing South Korea.

Intensive Care Units (ICU) will be critically important to protect the health of Australians. National Cabinet noted that Commonwealth, states and territories are working on increasing ICU and ventilator capacity – with surge capacity being prepared in the case of outbreaks.

National Cabinet received a comprehensive economic update from Treasury Secretary Dr Steven Kennedy. It noted the Commonwealth and states and territories have implemented major new economic support packages, but that even with these packages it is expected there will still be significant impacts on unemployment and economic activity.

National Cabinet thanked all Australians who are adhering to social distancing and self-isolation arrangements. Hygiene, social isolation and contact tracing are our most important measures to reduce the spread of the virus. We recognise this is a distressing time for Australians and we must stand together to ensure that we support each other.

We will continue to look at further measures as and where necessary to protect Australians. Any further measures to restrict activity may need to be flexible and calibrated to the extent of outbreaks by jurisdiction and the impact on the wellbeing of Australians and economics activity. Our goal is to start businesses and economic again after this health crisis has ended

National Cabinet will meet again on Sunday, 29 March 2020 and consider issues including responses to address. Commercial and residential tenancies and health supply arrangements

Returning Travellers

Substantial numbers of returned travellers and small community outbreaks associated with travellers continue to contribute most of the significant further growth in COVID-19 cases in Australia.

In order to help drive down this concerning number of imported cases, National Cabinet has agreed to take action to further restrict the movement of incoming travellers and to increase compliance checks on travellers who are already undertaking their mandatory self-isolation period at home. This is about reducing the spread of the virus in Australia and saving lives

National Cabinet agreed that:

  • As soon as possible, but no later than 11:59pm Saturday 28 March 2020, all travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake their mandatory 14 day self-isolation at designated facilities (for example, a hotel).
    • Travellers will be transported directly to designated facilities after appropriate immigration, customs and enhanced health checks.
    • Designated facilities will be determined by the relevant state or territory government and will ordinarily be in the city of entry where the traveller has cleared immigration, but facilities in other areas may be used if required.
    • These requirements will be implemented under state and territory legislation and will be enforced by state and territory governments, with the support of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) where necessary.
    • The Commonwealth will provide support through the ABF and ADF for these arrangements across Australia, and that states and territories would meet the costs and determine any contributions required for travellers arriving within their jurisdictions.
    • Air and maritime crews will be required to continue to undertake the existing precautions they are following where they self-isolate in their accommodation if they enter Australia until their next work voyage.
  • The Australian Defence Force will begin assisting state and territory governments to undertake quarantine compliance checks of those who are required to be in mandatory isolation after returning from overseas.

ADF assistance will be provided under the Defence Assistance to the Civil Community arrangements.

These new requirements will build on the existing support the Australian Defence Force is providing to the COVID-19 response, including:

  • Assistance to the states and territories to support contact tracing efforts.
  • Supporting industry with the production of surgical masks.
  • Provision of planning and logistics support to Commonwealth, state and territory agencies.
  • Provision of personnel to other agencies, including Services Australia.
  • Supporting the NT Police with border control operations.
  • Assisting states and territories to support the production of food hampers to supply to isolated civilians.

Statement on Schools by the National Cabinet

It is no longer business as usual for our schools, as we adapt to the impact of COVID-19.

We are now in a transition phase until the end of term as schools prepare for a new mode of operation following the school holidays.

For principals, teachers and support staff, the next few months will bring incredible challenges for our education system. We understand they need time to engage in the professional preparation and planning that is required to ensure that every child has access to education during this difficult time in a sustainable and effective manner for the rest of the 2020 school year.

Some states and territories have moved to pupil-free days already and each state and territory will come to their own transition arrangements with their workforce for the rest of this term.

While the medical advice remains that it is safe for children to go to school, to assist with the transition underway in our schools to the new mode of operation we ask that only children of workers for whom no suitable care arrangements are available at home to support their learning, physically attend school. This is vital to ensure that no parent should be forced to choose between their employment and the children’s education.

We understand the need for clear, nationally consistent health and safety advice so we have asked the AHPPC to develop guidelines about how staff in schools can protect themselves, manage social distance requirements and cater for those students who are at school. This will include guidelines for staff who work with vulnerable children, particularly those who have additional needs.

For education staff who identify as high risk, vulnerable or are caring for vulnerable family members, you will be supported to work from home.

We will continue to meet with education stakeholders and unions so that we can understand the education challenges for our communities and work constructively towards solutions. That will include the National Cabinet’s consideration of the measures needed for early childhood settings and TAFE.

Partnering with private hospitals

National Cabinet agreed to the importance of a strong and viable private hospital sector to bolster Australia’s response to COVID-19.

State and territory governments committed to urgently finalise arrangements with private hospitals under the COVID-19 National Partnership Agreement by 29 March 2020, to ensure sufficient and viable capacity exists within the private hospital sector both through the COVID-19 response and on an ongoing basis.

The private hospital system can play an important role in supporting the acute and intensive care needs of infected Australians together with other continuing urgent care needs. The capacity of the private system for non COVID cases and for overflow, particularly from ICU facilities, may be critical to Australia’s response.

Man charged as part of ongoing investigations into toilet paper theft

Investigators have charged a man as their inquiries continue into a series of thefts and attempted thefts from supermarkets in Sydney’s south west last weekend.

Earlier this week, officers from Wetherill Park Region Enforcement Squad commenced an investigation following reports of thefts and attempted thefts of toilet paper from restricted storage areas at supermarkets at Auburn, Granville, Bass Hill and Lidcombe last Sunday (22 March 2020).

Local police attended the stores before officers from Wetherill Park Region Enforcement Squad (RES) commenced an investigation into the thefts.

Following extensive inquiries, which included an appeal to the community for information, investigators arrested a 30-year-old man during a vehicle stop on Vaughan Street, Lidcombe, just before 2pm yesterday (Friday 27 March 2020).

The Auburn man was taken to Auburn Police Station and charged with two counts of larceny, robbery in company, break and enter dwelling-house etc with intent and enter inclosed land not presc premises without lawful excuse.

Police will allege in court that the man, who is in company of another man, stole approximately 400 rolls of toilet paper from the Auburn and Granville stores, and attended the Bass Hill and Lidcombe stores with intent to steal.

He has been refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court today (Saturday 28 March 2020) via video link.

Investigations are continuing and further arrests are expected.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, praised the actions of the New South Police.

“At this time of crisis, it only takes one fool to cause a high level of unnecessary community anxiety. I congratulate the police on this arrest.”

Woman charged after spitting on officer during vehicle stop – Greenacre

A woman will face court today after allegedly repeatedly coughing and spitting on an officer during a vehicle stop in Sydney’s south west yesterday.

Just after 5pm (Friday 28 March 2020), Traffic and Highway Patrol officers were patrolling the Greenacre area, when they attempted to stop an Audi on Greenacre Road.

As police conducted a U-turn, the Audi allegedly accelerated away at speed, travelling at no less than 120km/h in a signposted 50km/h zone, before turning left on Waterloo Road.

The Audi was allegedly seen disobeying a red traffic signal at the intersection of Mimosa Road before crossing unbroken lines to overtake a vehicle and turn right into Macquarie Street.

After allegedly failing to stop at a stop sign, the Audi turned right into Roberts Road and stopped in heavy traffic.

An officer, who had been following the Audi, approached the vehicle and spoke to the driver. The driver, a 25-year-old woman, was placed under arrest; however, she refused to get out of the vehicle.

She was physically removed and handcuffed, claiming she was on her way to be tested for COVID-19 before resisting and repeatedly coughing in the officer’s face.

The woman was escorted to the police vehicle, and as the officer reached inside, she struck her head against the vehicle window and spat at the officer.

She continued to resist despite a warning from police and was physically restrained on the ground after again spitting in the officer’s face.

Further police attended to assist, and the woman was taken to Bankstown Police Station and charged with drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous, motor vehicle exceed speed more than 45 km/h, drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, and assault officer in execution of duty.

She was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court today (Saturday 28 March 2020).

Man fined for breach of COVID-19 self-isolation direction – Bourke

Police are urging the community to follow self-isolation directions, after fining a man in the state’s west who failed to do so.

About 1.25pm on Monday (23 March 2020), a 64-year-old man arrived at Sydney International Airport on a flight from Thailand. He was advised he was subject to a Public Health Order and would be required to quarantine for a 14-day period.

Officers attached to Central North Police District received information that the man planned to breach the order and attended a home in North Bourke about 1.25pm today (Friday 27 March 2020) and advised the man against leaving the property.

About 3.55pm, police received further information that the man left his home to enter the Bourke CBD.

The man was located on Oxley Street, Bourke and advised to go home immediately as he was in breach of the order.

About 4.50pm, officers returned to the man’s home and issued him with a $1000 PIN for failing to comply with a direction under Section 7 of the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW).

Central North Police District Commander, Superintendent Andrew Hurst, is urging the community to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously for the sake of their community.

“This deadly virus is a national issue, but we must remain particularly vigilant in regional areas, because failing to do so could be devastating for our communities.” Superintendent Hurst said.

“If you choose to put the lives of your community at risk by ignoring a direction, you will be caught and you will be fined.”

NSW Police officers have the additional power to issue Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) to anyone found to be in contravention of a ministerial direction under the Public Health Act.

PINs carry on-the-spot fines of $1000 for individuals and $5000 for businesses.

Anyone with information about members of the community breaching Public Health Orders or otherwise contravening the Public Health Act is urged to report online to Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.