By Mitchell Clarke
People continue to flout the law and disobey strict social distancing guidelines despite repeated pleas from authorities to stay inside.
One woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims she witnessed over 40 cars at Mount Cannibal over the weekend and around 20 cars throughout the past week.
“I drive past Mount Cannibal twice a day to feed horses and I cannot believe the amount of people there in a daily basis especially between 4.30 to 5pm,” the woman said.
“They’re gathering in the car park… not social distancing at all.
“I have rung council, police, the police assistance line, messaged the Vic Emergency app but all said they can’t do anything. I suggested sending patrol cars at different times to tell people to stay home but nothing’s changed and it’s still happening… no one is listening.”
While exercising is still legal, new Stage 3 restrictions agreed by National Cabinet will see gatherings of more than two people banned from 11.59 on Monday 30 March.
“There are only four reasons for Victorians to leave their home: food and supplies, medical care, exercise, and work or education,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“Most Victorians are doing the right thing and I’m grateful to them – but we continue to see instances of people gathering in significant numbers so we must do more.”
Playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms will now close to the public.
If individuals are found to breach these directions, they could face on-the-spot fines of $1,652, while businesses could be forced to pay $9,913.
Under the State of Emergency people who don’t comply could also be taken to court and receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.
“The events we are living through are unprecedented and are going to mean big changes for everyone from our littlest Victorians to our most senior citizens,” the Premier added.
“Life is going to look very different for a while but if we don’t make these changes now, the virus will continue to spread, and our health system will be overwhelmed.
“To flatten the curve, we are all going to have to sacrifice a lot. But it may be the most important thing we ever do.”
The Stage 3 restrictions will be reviewed after four weeks.