The trio of Sydney-based removalists who travelled all the way through Riverina later tested positive is now a matter of a criminal investigation.
The investigation is still going on, confirmed the NSW Police on Sunday.
Two members of this trio tested positive for Covid 19 after returning to NSW. These removalists travelled all to South Australia through Victoria.
From July 8 to July 10, this trio stopped at places like Gundagai Coles Express and in the towns of Hay, North Albury and Jindera.
Jeroen Weimar, the Covid commander of Victoria, said that authorities of the three states were not happy with the sketchy details provided by the removalists, who he mentioned as “a rogue operator who isn’t doing the right thing.”
It started on July 8. Between 1:00 am to 1:30 am, they took a halt at the Shell Coles Express South Gundagai. The truck was pulled into the Kalkallo Caltex service station nearly eight hours later.
The removalists then had contact with a family of four in Craigieburn. They had to deliver furniture to this family.
They made their second contact with another family of four at Ariele apartments. They made a collection here.
The removalists halted again by 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, at a service station and McDonald’s, both at 6511 Western Freeway.
Jeroen Weimar confirmed that this moving business was covered under a national code for freight movement. But there was crucial information withheld by the removalists for more than 36 hours.
For the next two weeks, Mr Andrews, the premier of Victoria, has banned the entry of all the furniture removalists coming to Victoria from covid-19 hotspots.
He said, “It’s just a change we can make, particularly as things become more unstable and more challenging in terms of more case numbers coming out of Sydney.”
Mr Andrews clearly mentioned this incident to be the trigger that sparked the Melbourne lockdown.
Instead of seven days, the interstate transport workers coming into Victoria from the red zones would now have to test after every three days. Carrying the negative report with them is crucial.
Peter Anderson, who is the chief executive of the Victorian Transport Association, has praised these changes. “The episode should not be a reflection on the industry,” he insisted.
“In introducing these new restrictions, the government has made an important distinction between freight drivers… and the rogue activities of these removalists,” he said.
He also thinks that it is very unfortunate that the careless actions of this trio have brought the transport industry into some disrepute.
A court attendance notice has been issued to a different crew of removalists. These Sydney-based removalists also travelled through regional NSW.
Gary Worboys, the Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police, confirmed this group – travelling with the knowledge that they had Covid-19 – can face a six-month jail and/or a maximum penalty of $11,000.
Deputy Premier John Burillo is slamming the actions of those who leave the red zone and travel all the way in regional NSW.
During a press conference on Sunday, he said, “We’ve got significant penalties in place for deliberate, reckless actions like these.”
“It could actually put in jeopardy not just a community like Orange, but the central west; put at risk regional and rural NSW where the health system would be completely swamped if we had an outbreak that was similar to Sydney.
“That’s why the restrictions we’ve got in Sydney are significant, to minimise travel to the regions (and) to minimise travel across the city.”