‘Fine doesn’t fit the crime’: Premier calls for harsher penalty for quarantine breacher who caused lockdown
The Tasmanian Premier has called for a harsher penalty for the NSW man who left hotel quarantine and forced part of the state into a snap three-day lockdown.
Peter Gutwein on Saturday said he wanted to “throw the book” at the infected man who flew into the state earlier this week despite his cross-border exemption being denied twice.
He said he had asked Tasmania Police to increase the fine that was given to the man because it “didn’t appear to be in line with the crime”.
“This is a breach that has brought southern Tasmanians to a standstill and I request that (Tasmania Police) consider what other actions can be (made) against the person as well as anyone who has been an accomplice to the escape,” Mr Gutwein said.
“I believe very strongly that we should throw the book at people that flaunt our rules and send a very strong signal that this is not on.
“I’ve asked Tasmania Police to consider all avenues to ensure that the book to be thrown at this individual.
“It’s taken one person to do the wrong thing and everyone else to do the heavy lifting. That simply isn’t on.”
The man will be slapped with two fines of more than $3000 for breaching quarantine and entering the state without approval.
The 31-year-old Covid-19 case flew into Hobart from Melbourne on Monday night and was placed into the Travelodge Hotel but was not in his room when a routine check was done on Tuesday.
He was later found at a Bridgewater home in Hobart’s outer northern suburbs later that day after he was picked up by a friend and driven to two private addresses.
It was revealed the infected person had also visited a supermarket.
The state reported no new Covid cases on Saturday.
The Premier announced on Friday afternoon that Hobart and southern Tasmania would be thrown into the short lockdown after authorities found there were more possible exposure sites connected to the infected man.
“There is growing concern now that he has been to several touch points in the community. We can’t continue to wait another two days to find out more about what has been going on,” Mr Gutwein said yesterday.
“We don’t want to be Sydney or Melbourne in this case that acted too late with Delta.”
Residents can only leave their homes for essential purposes:
- Shopping for essentials within 5km of home
- Exercise outdoors alone or with household contacts
- Attending medical appointments, including Covid-19 vaccinations and tests
- Work if you are a permitted worker
- School on Monday if the child cannot learn from home
- Childcare and other care reasons
- Vet appointments
The restrictions apply to people living in the following councils: Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence City, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan-Spring Bay, Glenorchy City, Hobart City, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands and Tasman.
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