Australian legislators have proposed harsher penalties for people defying COVID measures, including $11,000 fines for people supporting and promoting anti-lockdown protests online.
The number of positive COVID tests in the state of New South Wales continues to increase, despite the lockdown.
The opposition in New South Wales has called for stricter COVID-19 measures and harsher penalties for people defying the measures. Most notably, they have proposed $11,000 fines for people promoting and inciting protests on social media, amid reports of the planning of a second anti-lockdown rally this weekend.
Under the proposal, protest organizers would be fined $20,000 and protest attendees would be fined $5,500, a significant increase from the current $1,000 fine for attending a protest.
According to Shadow Police Minister Walt Secord, these fines would crack down the anti-lockdown supporters, who often operate on the sidelines without actually attending the rallies.
“We should throw the book at these idiots who spread misinformation and lies along with the Delta variant,” Secord said.
“I know 99 percent of the population are furious with the minority who continue to disregard the health orders, and put the safety and livelihoods of families at risk,” said David Elliot, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services.
“Crime Stoppers received more than 15,000 calls and reports providing information following last weekend’s illegal protest.
“Police made it clear from the start, they want to educate – not fine – members of the community but the 15,000 calls to Crime Stoppers is a clear message to the government that the community expects action.”