NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has managed to get away with standing up to have a beer, with police deciding to not fine him after he broke his state’s own health orders before Monday’s press conference.
The state’s presser was held at Watson’s Pub in Moore Park yesterday, to celebrate the state reopening from over 100 days of lockdown, and before he fronted the cameras, Perrottet was seen necking a schooner of beer while standing up behind the bar.
Despite this being a very public flouting of the rules – which stipulate that people must be seated to consume alcohol – the police have decided to not slap the new Premier with a fine after applying “discretion” to the circumstance.
❌ Stand-up drinking which the rest of us are banned from.
❌ 100% male cast of thousands at the "Freedom Day" event.
❌ They don't even look like they're enjoying the beer.
— Stephen (@TheAviator1992) October 11, 2021
Per the ABC, the NSW Police spoke with the owner of the large pub across from the Hordern Pavilion in the Entertainment Quarter, and decided to not issue the Premier with a fine for knocking back a pre-work froth while standing up.
“Compliance with COVID-19 restrictions within a venue are the responsibility of the business owner [or] manager,” a NSW Police spokesperson said.
“In this instance, which was an organised media event before the venue opened to patrons, police have applied discretion.”
However, it’s reported that officers from the Surry Hills cop shop have spoken with the licensee to remind him of obligations regarding patrons under the Public Health Act. Not sure if a stern word from the cops is going to make someone tell a Premier to please take a seat when bending the elbow for a media photo opp, though.
Over the state borders in Victoria, Premier Dan Andrews was served with $400 worth of fines last week, after he was seen momentarily walking outside between his car and Parliament House without a mask on Wednesday and Thursday.
After he was seen flouting the state’s health orders, Andrews said he would pay any fines issued to him, and apologised for the oversight.
“I am aware that as I approached two press conferences at the back of Parliament House this week I removed my mask after leaving the car, before I walked to the back doors,” Andrews said.
“I expect Victoria Police to assess this and if they choose to issue a fine, of course I will pay it.”
Perrottet is yet to make a statement about his own oversights, despite not copping an individual fine.