‘Don’t do it again’: $200k fined, house parties raided
Police have blasted 'blatant disregard' for social distancing rules after three house parties were broken up, crowds flocked to a packed Burleigh Hill and nearly $200,000 in COVID-19 fines were dished out over the weekend.
In the first weekend of relaxed restrictions, police said two house parties in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast had to be broken up - including one Airbnb party which was raided by police twice in two days.
Eighteen people were hit with COVID-19 breach fines after police raided a Gold Coast party house for the second day in a row with officers in 'disbelief' at the 'completely unacceptable' behaviour.
Police issued seven $1,334 fines after a noise complaint at the Carrara house on Friday night.
Just after midnight on Sunday, they were called to the same house where they issued another 18 infringement notices. The party was held by people aged in their 20s.
Gold Coast Police chief superintendent Mark Wheeler said five occupants of the house copped successive fines.
The Fitzwilliam St house had been hired for a birthday party with more than $33,000 in fines issued for that one party across two days.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said it was 'incredibly disappointing' and officers were 'in disbelief' the party continued for a second night after the first batch of fines.
"We were incredibly disappointed the first time," she said.
"We can't have parties, we can't congregate in large groups.
"To go back a second time we were all in disbelief. It is completely unacceptable."
She urged the parents of those young adults who held the party to have a conversation with them 'for the safety of our community'.
Meanwhile, police were also forced to break up a house party in Banyo in northern Brisbane where 10 people were slapped with fines for partying on a balcony and a party in Pimpama, where a disco ball was in use, and 18 people were fined.
And van loads of police had to disperse crowds at popular Burleigh Hill on Sunday night with picnickers packing the grassed lawn which takes in a breathtaking view of the Surfers Paradise skyline.
"That really was for blatant disregard for directives," she said.
"An example of that is one night at an Airbnb on the Gold Coast, we issued seven infringement notices.
"At the same household the next day, 18. At a party in Brisbane, another 10 people were on a balcony.
"This is where there's blatant disregard of the directives we have been issuing those infringement notices.
"So disappointingly, those people are really not doing the right thing, but in essence most people are really trying to be compliant this weekend."
Commissioner Carroll said high visibility police would again target Burleigh today, warning people to avoid busy areas.
"At the moment Burleigh is an example where we have too many people congregating in the one area," she said.
"We have high visibility police asking those groups to move but we've always said if an area is busy can you please move on to somewhere else.
"So today, again, we'll have a very high presence of policing in that area."
Commissioner Carroll has called for the easing of COVID-19 restrictions to remain in place pending the good behaviour of Queenslanders.
Ms Carroll said she was "very proud" of most Queenslanders over the weekend.
However she warned blatant disregard for public health directions could jeopardise it for everyone.
"I think we should continue with this, however if we have the blatant disregard, and a lot of it, it will jeopardise what we're trying to do," she said.
" I am very pleased with what's happened on the weekend but disappointingly Burleigh Heads last night probably ruined what was a spectacular weekend, but we will be working very closely with the council to ensure that doesn't occur again."
Originally published as 'Don't do it again': $200k fined, house parties raided