Easter crackdown: 496 fined, cops to revoke wrongful fines
Nearly 500 people have been slapped with hefty fines for breaching coronavirus restrictions in Queensland this Easter long weekend with one of the state's top police officers clearing up confusion about if people can still take rubbish to the tip.
It came as police revealed several people had been fined $1,334 each for taking rubbish to Willawong tip, despite the service remaining open to the public.
Deputy commissioner Steve Gollschewski said taking rubbish to the tip was allowed with police set to revoke fines wrongfully issued.
"This is one of those areas where interpretatively we had to really look at it and had a very senior level discussion with Queensland Health to clarify that finally," he said today.
"Bottom line is, if a business or service can remain operating - your local council tip is one of those allowed to keep operating - it is reasonable to allow people to use those services.
"So what we are telling our officers is that, yes people should be allowed to use those services however, they still have to abide by social distancing measures.
"If we have to keep going for many months I'd hate to think people have to store rubbish in their house.
"If businesses are still operating, it is a pretty clear inference that people can continue to use those services.
"Because this is such a new system and it's been put together so very quickly for our officers, like anyone else it's difficult for everybody to adjust so quickly.
"What we've done to make sure we're getting it right is that all notices that have been issued are subject to a review and we will look at those to make sure they are appropriately issued and if they haven't been they will be withdrawn."
He said 496 people had been issued with fines over Easter but praised the wider community for listening to the 'stay home' messaging.
'Overall the community has been fantastic, probably the quietest Easter we've seen for a long time," he said.
"But nonetheless, there are still those people that don't get the message and do the wrong thing and we've had to issue 496 penalty infringement notices.
"We are a state of five million people nearly and for that period to see only 496 infringements issued is testament to the fact the community is listening.
"Where police see people doing the wrong thing, they have a conversation with them, and if they are trying to do the right thing and they are not understanding what's required of them we give them the opportunity to comply and then if they do the wrong thing, then we take action."
About less than 10 per cent of those fines were for people breaching quarantine.
However, Dep Commissioner Gollschewski reminded Queenslanders that Easter was just "four days of the year".
"We've got a long journey ahead of us yet and we really don't know where this is going to go with any certainty," he said.
Queensland saw 364 international arrivals over Easter and all were placed into quarantine.
In the same period there were 1231 domestic arrivals of which 256 went into quarantine and three people were denied entry.
At the road borders, 26 Queensland residents were ordered into quarantine because they were returning from COVID19 hotspots in Sydney.
Police have now issued more than $1 million in on the spot fines for COVID19 breaches which equates to 754 infringement notices. About 10 per cent relate to self quarantine orders.
Originally published as Easter crackdown: 496 fined, cops to revoke wrongful fines