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MOVEMENT AND GATHERING DIRECTION – IS NON-COMPLIANCE ACTUALLY AN OFFENCE?

We are all very aware of the Public Health Direction regarding Movement and Gathering, social distancing seems to be a term you can’t go a day without hearing now.

There are a number of provisions under the Movement and Gathering Direction such as outdoor gatherings of a maximum of 20 people, and gatherings of up to 20 persons in non-residences.

Further, Part 13 of the Direction states that a person who is leaving their principal place of residence must practice social distancing while outside their principal place of residence, to the extent reasonably practicable.

But, are there actually penalties for not abiding by these Directions?

The answer is yes.

You will be committing an offence if you fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the Directions.

Failure to comply is contained under Section 362D of the Public Health Act 2005.

The maximum penalty is 100 penalty units, being $13,345.00.

There has been an uproar of Australian’s expressing their anger to all those who are not complying with the directions. People are angry, they are seeking those who blatantly do not comply with Directions to be fined and large gatherings to be dispersed promptly.

The Australians who have lost their jobs, had their businesses closed down or are unable to see friends and family are angry. Australians who have had to cancel a wedding, bury a loved one without a funeral are angry. Businesses who have had to shut down and people are in increasing debt are angry.  

We want to return to our new normal and to be able to travel, see loved ones, re-open businesses and get back to life.

There is increasing concern with the current worldwide events regarding the public gatherings of thousands, parties being thrown of more than 20 people and social distancing not being complied with.

Many are saying that such gatherings need to be delayed. Not forever, just not NOW.

State Governments have refused to return to the footy, opera or a play at this current time yet many are putting others at risk of a further outbreak.

Stage 2 is in full force currently and if there are no further outbreaks we will move to Stage 3 on 10 July 2020 which will allow a lot of businesses re-open, workers to return and potentially movement across the borders.

What are your thoughts?

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