LOCAL police were quick to respond to a small gathering of lockdown protesters in Leongatha on Tuesday, August 31, with four people receiving a $1817 fine.
Senior Sergeant Brad Steer said the group had gathered outside Leongatha’s Centrelink office about 9am, but most dispersed as police arrived.
“Majority of the group moved on without incident,” Snr Sgt Steer said.
“Subsequently, we issued four penalty notices for people who remained and were then asked to leave.
“The value of those penalty notices being $1817.”
Snr Sgt Steer said police believed there was some level of pre-planning involved, but they were aware of the protest before it occurred.
“We had a police operation running in relation to it, and our focus was early intervention before the crowd got too big,” he said.
“But at the end of the day, they were very compliant and didn’t cause us any issues at all or to the public, other than the four males who were spoken to and subsequently issued penalty notices for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s instructions.”
Snr Sgt Steer said the group appeared to be handing out pamphlets relating to concerns about COVID restrictions and vaccines.
“It’s fair to say they probably didn’t have much of an opportunity to pass those around because the police presence prevented that from happening,” he said.
“We had information it could have been randomly around the state, but the intel we had was quite low anyway.
“But from the police perspective, there was no issues with the crowd, they dispersed when required.”
Snr Sgt Steer also urged those wanting to protest lockdown restrictions to contact their local MP, instead of gathering in public in breach of the Chief Health Officer’s orders.