Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was visibly shaken while discussing folks who lie to avoid wearing face masks in public, saying he’s prepared to boost the penalty for non-compliance with the public health order.
Speaking in Melbourne this morning, Andrews said he needed to “take a deep breath” before discussing Victorians who continue to flout advice from the Chief Health Officer.
“Is there anything worse than someone pretending to be unwell in order to get out of wearing a mask?” Andrews asked.
“Like, seriously. You need to wear the mask.”
The Premier said he was prepared to raise the $200 on-the-spot fine for going mask-less without a valid reason.
“That notion of lying about your health status to avoid wearing a mask and in fact putting other people’s health at risk, that’s shameful,” Andrews said.
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) August 4, 2020
Earlier in the press conference, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said a 38-year-old woman had been charged after allegedly assaulting a police officer who confronted her for not wearing a mask.
“That behaviour is just totally unacceptable,” Commissioner Patton said. “That’s someone who thinks they’re above the law.”
Commissioner Patton said police have documented a small but “concerning” rise in the number of so-called ‘sovereign citizens’, who claim they’re not bound by Australian laws.
Commissioner Patton added that police “had to smash the windows of cars and pull people out to provide details” at least four times in recent days.
“Sovereign citizen, conspiracy theorist, they just have to obey the law, otherwise we will hold them to account,” he said.