Fifty-eight revheads have each been fined $ 1334 after a car rally involving approximately 150 cars in Brisbane’s south on Saturday night.
Those slapped with the penalty, enforced as a result of failing to comply with a COVID-19 direction issued by the Queensland Chief Health Officer, were aged between 17 and 30. Some were drivers, others passengers.
Some cars attempted to flee but drove across grassland and became bogged.
Queensland police were alerted to the rally in a warehouse car park at Brickworks Place in Rochedale about 10pm on Saturday.
“It is inexcusable what happened at Rochedale last night and such blatant disregard for the lives of Queenslanders will not be tolerated,” Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said in a statement on Sunday.
Video released by the Queensland Police Service shows a stream of cars being stopped, with one male officer asking a driver: “Are you aware of the home confinement rules in relation to the coronavirus?”
He reads out the allowances, none of which apply to the driver, and adds: “So you basically thought you were coming here to see a car show?”
“I don’t think that’s on the list,” the officer’s colleague replies.
Police were disappointed and frustrated by the large gathering – the type of event which puts all Queenslanders at risk, Mr Gollschewski said.
“This is all about safety. About saving lives. About stopping the spread of COVID-19. We all, every single one of us, must do our bit. We are in this together,” the deputy police commissioner said.
“Largely Queenslanders have made significant adjustments to their lifestyle in order to comply with these health directives, to help protect their families, friends, neighbours and the broader community, and I thank them for that.”
In Queensland, the Home Confinement, Movement and Gathering Direction came into force at 11.59pm on April 2.
A maximum of two people who are not ordinarily members of a household are allowed to visit a home. Outdoor gatherings are limited to the members of one household or two members of different households.
Gatherings in nonresidences are forbidden, however exemptions apply to places of transit.
“A person who owns, controls or operates premises, other than a residence, must not organise or allow a gathering to occur on the premises,” the state’s health department says.