Superyacht border ire: ‘You have every right to be outraged’
The Gold Coast's top cop has slammed people he describes as 'entitled' border dodgers who think they are 'above the law'.
Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler delivered the general broadside to anyone considering entering the state without proper authority.
He was speaking after construction magnate Mark Simonds and his family arrived on the Coast on Monday on the 30m yacht Lady Pamela.
They were initially granted quarantine exemptions but these were revoked on Tuesday by Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young.
Mr Simonds, his wife, son and the other four people on the yacht were ordered into self-funded hotel quarantine in Surfers Paradise.
Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said there was now a police investigation under way in relation to the Lady Pamela yacht.
"We are doing that in collaboration with the New South Wales Police Force, that investigation will be ongoing and we'll make a comment about it at the appropriate time," he said.
Supt Wheeler said while he could not comment on the case specifically as it was still under investigation, he could understand public 'outrage' at anyone considering ways to enter the state without proper authority.
"People who blatantly breach the Chief Health Officer's directions in trying to get into Queensland, when they're detected they will be dealt with, with the full force of the law," he said.
"There is no excuse, it puts the whole community in danger.
"No-one is above the law, no-one should feel so entitled that they can just break the rules and make their way in.
"I would understand that the community would be frustrated, disappointed and in some cases probably outraged that people think they can breach the rules when so many people are doing the right thing."
Dr Young said Queensland had a very important yacht repair industry.
"At this time of year every year, there are a large number of yachts who come to us to have their routine repair and maintenance done," she said.
"So far I've given 10 exemptions, similar to this one."
Dr Young said the exemption was given so the yacht could come directly from Victoria to Queensland without stopping along the way to have the repairs done.
"They were only meant to have the people necessary to bring the yacht safely up to Queensland," she said.
Maritime Services discovered the people hadn't come directly from Victoria after checking the log, with public health staff then going on board to test them for COVID-19.
Dr Young said Maritime Services were questioning whether everyone on the yacht were crew.
"These people never got off that yacht in Queensland," she said.
"They were tested on the yacht and now they're all in hotel quarantine."