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Dozens fined at car rally for breaching new social distancing rules

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski, the state disaster coordinator, said he was “disappointed and frustrated” by the incident, which “puts all Queenslanders at risk.”

“It is inexcusable what happened at Rochedale last night and such blatant disregard for the lives of Queenslanders will not be tolerated,” he 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.”

Strict movement restrictions have been put in place by the state’s Chief Health Officer to try to contain the spread of the virus in the community.

People caught by police outside their homes without a valid reason face an individual fine of $1334.

Reasons include going to the shop for essential supplies, seeking medical treatment, studying or working if you can’t do either from home and exercising, as long as no more than two people are together at any one time.

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Police last week said they were trying to exercise their powers to fine people “compassionately” and would seek to inform them of the rules first, using fines as a last resort for repeat or egregious breaches of the new rules.

The mass fines came after premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned she would crack down on farmers markets which floated social distancing rules.

Multiple pictures emerged on Saturday of the Jan Powers Farmers Markets in New Farm packed with people despite the new rules being in full effect.

Ms Palaszczuk said the behaviour was “not on” and she would speak to the market organisers this week.

“If I see that again, they’re going to be shut down immediately,” she said.

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