‘People doing the right thing are frustrated’

POLICE and political leaders have praised the majority of Gold Coasters for their improved social distancing behaviour during the Easter long weekend.

The giant crowds at city beaches seen across the previous three weekends failed to reappear after a crackdown on "out of towners" visiting saw three stretches of sand - The Spit, Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta - closed and oceanfront carparks blocked off.

 

A man was photographed exercising on top of closed gym equipment over the weekend.
A man was photographed exercising on top of closed gym equipment over the weekend.

Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said the majority of locals appeared to be "getting the message"

"Our patrols, vehicles and drones, some with the use of PA system, have continued," he said.

"On the open beaches we have seen people comply to social distancing and generally not gathering in groups.

Easter beach crowds on the Gold Coast yesterday. Picture Glenn Hampson
Easter beach crowds on the Gold Coast yesterday. Picture Glenn Hampson

"When police have seen anything not in compliance, police have been able to talk to those people.

"People seem to be getting the message and we ask them to keep complying with the messages about non-essential travel and social distancing."

While most people are doing the right thing, some people continue to ignore calls to stay home.

That’s not social distancing guys. Picture Glenn Hampson
That’s not social distancing guys. Picture Glenn Hampson

On Saturday night, a man was photographed exercising on top of closed public gym equipment despite it being wrapped in cladding more than a week earlier by council to prevent their use and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Another man was pictured posing with an electric guitar on Surfers Paradise beach.

Yesterday morning, the footpaths of Miami were full of people exercising, with joggers bumping each other to clear space while running up the stairs overlooking the beach.

A man was photographed playing the electric guitar on Surfers Paradise Beach on Saturday.
A man was photographed playing the electric guitar on Surfers Paradise Beach on Saturday.

Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek said a minority of locals continued to flout the rules.

"This is a frustrating for people who are doing the right there because there is always someone who thinks the rules do not apply to them," he said.

"You can fine them but some people just ignore them to and let it become a SPER debt."

Crowds on the footpath along Miami Beachfront. Picture Glenn Hampson
Crowds on the footpath along Miami Beachfront. Picture Glenn Hampson

Chief Superintendent Wheeler said police patrols on the M1 had also seen a drop in Brisbane locals attempting to visit or holiday on the Gold Coast.

"I can tell you more than 200 vehicles have been intercepted and we have had to turn around 15 of those vehicles containing 33 people because it was determined they were travelling for non-essential reasons," he said.

"Our interceptions have been very targeted.

"We have known who we're intercepting before we do it in most cases.

"Understandably the M1 is not the best environment to intercept lots of cars, so we wanted to make sure the operation was safe for the community and also safe for our police."

 

Originally published as 'People doing the right thing are frustrated'