As Australia rapidly descends into what seems indistinguishable from a police state*, the rozzers are out in force, ready to hand out fines for any defiant souls daring to poke their noses out of their doors without a state-sanctioned excuse.

Some of the police actions seem excusable, such as backpackers partying on (and creating a COVID-19 hotspot of infections), while others…less so. For instance, the inexplicable decision by police in Melbourne not to shut down a wedding party that clearly breached guidelines.

So, what are Aussies getting fined for? From the ludicrous to the bizarre, here’s a selection.

Forgoing the kind of discretion they displayed when allowing the aforementioned wedding to carry on, Melbourne’s jacks fined a teenager for having a driving lesson.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton says police will withdraw the $1652 on-the-spot social distancing fine they issued to a 17-year-old learner driver over the weekend[…]

Mr Patton on Monday said police were satisfied the fine had been “legally issued”, but that it would be reviewed to see if police discretion should be used.

Then there’s these Aussie-as defiant larrikins.

One 21-year-old man was fined $1,000 when he was spotted eating a kebab on a bench in Newcastle after ignoring two warnings by police earlier in the day.

In Albury a 51-year-old man was fined after he was involved in a minor car accident and allegedly told police he had left his home in order to visit his drug dealer. He was later found to have a disqualified driving licence.

The kebab-eater was fined for “being outside his home without a valid reason”. Clearly, these coppers have never had an attack of the munchies before.

Not even deros are safe from the long arm of the Social Distancing Police:

Yesterday afternoon, officers patrolling Casey’s Beach Reserve, Batehaven, spoke with two men who were allegedly drinking alcohol at a bench. When asked why they were out, the pair allegedly became abusive toward the officers and claimed they were just exercising.

But I’m pleased to see that my home town is the clear winner in the what-the-hell stakes.

Google Street View captures the spirit of Geelong. The BFD.

[Deputy Commissioner Shane] Patton said he was shocked that a Geelong brothel had been operating on Wednesday.

“It astounds me. We were called there, to this brothel, because the street was that busy at one stage it became a traffic jam[…]

“I find that quite astounding really. Even if they weren’t, they were aware they weren’t an essential service. The reality is to have that contact with people where you have a traffic jam of people queuing up, we shouldn’t be having contact with anyone. It’s just ridiculous.”

Sounds like he doesn’t know Geelong very well. (Language Warning.)

*Like something from a bad joke about Nazi Germany, people are literally having to “show their papers”. My wife’s employer has issued letters to all staff, averring that they are employed in an essential service, after employees were repeatedly stopped and questioned.

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