Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says he expects authorities would treat those caught on video partying with Nadia Bartel the same as the people who attended an engagement party that breached public health orders.
The rebuke from Mr Andrews came as company JS Health Vitamins announced on Sunday that Ms Bartel had been removed as a brand ambassador, after a video of her allegedly breaking Victorian COVID-19 rules and snorting a white powder off a dinner plate circulated on social media on Friday.
In a post to Instagram, the brand’s founder Jessica Sepel said she’d had to make a hard decision after being left disappointed by Ms Bartel’s actions, but said she wished the 36-year-old influencer “strength and peace”.
“I have to stand for what’s right,” Ms Sepel said. “We are a health brand who is very serious about aligning with individuals who share the same values.”
Mr Andrews said he did not have any updates on the police investigation into the matter, but no visits meant no visits.
“It would be my understanding that that matter would be treated no differently to the engagement party,” Mr Andrews said.
“A number of people doing the wrong thing. It wasn’t a matter of breaching confidences and calling into question whether people tell us truth when they are contact tracing, and that is worth much more than any fine we might give out.
“This video is no different to the engagement party, as it’s out there in the public domain and it would be my anticipation that every single person at that house will be getting a $5500 fine because I’m confident – these really are decisions for the Chief Commissioner, but I would be absolutely certain he would want the law applied equally, regardless of whether you used to be related to a footballer.
“This is everybody’s business. And people should be treated equally. That would be my absolute expectation. Otherwise it wouldn’t be fair, would it? At those people at that engagement party, who have all been issued, as I understand it, except for the kids, they have all been issued with a $5500 fine.
“I also see on social media other people potentially visiting that house. No visits means no visits. Stay at home. Stay at home. That’s what the rules say and that’s what will keep us safe.”
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