Power House Markets
Power House Markets

Enough is enough: Time to hand out fines

IF YOU ever needed proof that people are really lemmings, today's farmers markets fiasco is it.

Who cares about flattening the curve when the earth is flat and we're all going to jump off the coronavirus cliff and plunge to our deaths?

But what is getting lost in the understandable outrage over the idiotic, ignorant and irrational behaviour of hundreds of people in flouting social distancing rules is the failure of police to dole out fines.

 

The Queensland Police public safety response team were called to the Jan Power Powerhouse Farmers Markets. Picture: Richard Walker
The Queensland Police public safety response team were called to the Jan Power Powerhouse Farmers Markets. Picture: Richard Walker

 

Like almost every other law that exists in this state relating to criminal or anti-social acts, the fines are meaningless unless applied, swiftly and decisively.

What message does the softly-softly approach of the police officers who turned up to the Jan Power's Farmers Markets in New Farm convey? That it's OK for members of the public to keep acting like fools.

You won't be slugged with an on-the-spot $1334.50 fine. You'll get a request to stop misbehaving and to play nicely.

Seriously?

 

I don't want to have a crack at police officers. I really don't. They do a tremendous job, dealing with reprobates, thugs and imbeciles on a daily basis, but I have to call this out.

Slap fines on those who endangers others - and themselves - and help Queensland get this mess under control.

 

Patrons at the markets were asked to follow social distancing guidelines. Picture: Richard Walker
Patrons at the markets were asked to follow social distancing guidelines. Picture: Richard Walker

 

I don't want to read a statement from the Queensland Police Service that says officers were aware of the breaches "and at this time there have been no infringements handed out", that they were "of course, strictly reminding people of the importance of keeping their distance from each other in public".

Astrid Gates, the director of the markets founded by her mother Jan Power and, until last year, run by her late sister Sammy Power, did nothing wrong by holding today's market.

The event went ahead based on advice provided by the council and the Queensland State Health Officer, and information on social distancing was made abundantly clear on the markets' website.

 

 

The fact that markets have, until now, been exempt from closure is a matter of contention, and understandably so, given restaurants, cinemas, gyms and other venues where people gather en masse have been shut down.

But today's disaster, embarrassment or whatever you want to call it is not the fault of the markets but of the stupid people who attended and broke the rules.

Do these people live in a bubble - soon to be declared a coronavirus cluster, no doubt?

Do they think they are somehow immune from coronavirus and doing good works by supporting our farmers and producers? Their place in heaven might be coming sooner than they think.

I am personally sickened by the complete disregard for the wellbeing of our communities, and particularly while others have lost livelihoods by abiding by the rules and shuttering their businesses.

This pandemic is real, and the only way to effectively deal with those who behave otherwise is to enforce the law - and toughen them further.

We are only "all in this together", as the catch cry goes, if all are held accountable. Even the lemmings.

Originally published as Enough is enough: Time to hand out fines



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