Australian News

Cop slams crowd at Gold Coast lookout

Crowds that flocked a Gold Coast lookout to watch the sun set on Sunday have been branded “disappointing” by the state’s top cop who said police were forced to move people on.

Queensland police have now issued more than $2 million in fines during the pandemic, including almost 150 penalty notices this weekend alone.

Hundreds of people flocked to Goodwin Terrace on Burleigh Hill at dusk yesterday, just a day after some coronavirus restrictions were eased in the state. One of those spoken to by police was The Bachelorette star Sasha Mielczarek.

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From this weekend, Queensland residents could travel up to 50km from their home to shop, visit a park or even go to the drive-in.

However, they could only move about with members of their household and they also had to abide by social distancing measures. The crowds gathered despite those restrictions still being in place.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the scene at the lookout, near Burleigh Heads, was “disappointing”.

“The behaviour of crowds across the weekend has been absolutely tremendous, then we saw that situation at Burleigh last night,” she told Channel 9’s The Today Show this morning.

“I have some 900 police across the state, it is a warning – please don’t do that again.

“The message all along is if an area is very, very busy please move away from there so we can maintain that social distancing.”

Ms Carroll said most people at Burleigh were simply asked to move along but 146 fines had been issued on the weekend to others brazenly flouting social distancing regulations.

That brings the number of on-the-spot fines for COVID-19 related infringements that have been issued to 1664, totalling more than $2.19 million.

Some of the most notable fines were for parties including one in Brisbane where 10 people crowded a balcony.

“Disappointingly, those people were not doing the right thing. But most people were really trying to be compliant this weekend,” Ms Carroll said.

Queensland recorded just one new case of coronavirus on Sunday.

Passengers on a Qantas flight to Brisbane were being urged to contact Queensland health officials after one person was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Flight QF614 flew from Melbourne to Brisbane on April 22. Those on-board are being told to call 13 HEALTH to speak to officials, who will ask about their health and give some advice.

“We ask that passengers seated in rows 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 of this flight, who have not already been contacted by Queensland Health call 13 HEALTH and advise that you were a passenger on this flight,” a statement from the health department said.

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