CORONAVIRUS PENALTIES IN QLD

NEW CORONAVIRUS PENALTIES IN QLD

As somebody who suffers from both Type 1 Diabetes and immune system vulnerability, the continuing selfishness of some irresponsible members of our community in relation to quarantine and social distancing is extremely troubling.

We have now seen State Governments around the Country imposing penalties for people who are breaching quarantine. Queensland Police have now been given powers to issue an “on the spot fine” to individuals of $1335 and corporations $6672.50 under the Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) for breaches of the state imposed restrictions. These fines can increase up to 10x for subsequent breaches.

Police and Queensland Health have undertaken more than 2000 compliance checks since Monday, 23 March 2020.

Is the deterrent of a financial penalty sufficient to prevent these individuals from potentially spreading this pandemic? We are talking about businesses being shut down, people losing jobs, homes and most importantly, lives.

We have to face the reality that as long as COVID-19 continues to spread, everyone is effected. Will a $1335 fine achieve anything meaningful? Should the government consider legislation imposing higher penalties, including potential imprisonment?

If someone can go to jail for endangering others by doing things like drink driving, why shouldn’t someone who knowingly puts us all at risk face the same reality?

Let’s look at the end game, stopping the spread of the virus. The Government has taken drastic, but necessary steps to shut borders, businesses, schools and other institutions. Surely anyone who doesn’t recognise the seriousness of the situation, and is willing to risk the lives of people like me and you should face real and significant consequences.

 

Michael Burrows
Senior Associate
Ph:   07 3009 6555
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