UNIT PARTY:Gayndah police were called to a house party on May 1 during coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Alix Sweeney
UNIT PARTY:Gayndah police were called to a house party on May 1 during coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Alix Sweeney

PARTY’S OVER: Unit broken into for house party

ONE officer was sent to disperse a 70 person party the night before coronavirus restrictions were to be lifted. 

Gayndah residents made noise complaints to police on Friday May 1, with officers attending before midnight.

Senior Constable Brian Nugent responded to the call to find between 60-70 people were at a unit on Barrow St, which was allegedly broken into. 

"From the outside, there were a number of people on the street," Constable Nugent said.

"Once the door was open to the unit, it was wall to wall with people."

Being the only officer on the scene to handle dozens of partygoers, Constable Nugent was unable to take action in relation to COVID-19 fines.

He instead told the attendees to vacate the premises, waiting to charge the hosts of the party with the breach.

"There was no violence, with that many people, I was just trying to get the place clear," he said.

Constable Nugent was ready to hold the resident of the unit accountable for the breach in coronavirus restrictions, to find it had no occupant.

"It was discovered the unit was broken into, and this has since been reported," Constable Nugent said.

Mayor Rachel Chambers took to Facebook to express her disappointment the following day, posting an open letter on the Gayndah Backpackers 2020 Facebook group.

"Dear backpackers, I can't express how disappointed I am in the large amount of people who had a party last night in Barrow Street," Cr Chambers said.

"Last night you showed a blatant disrespect for the community you are guests of and for the law."

After working with them on their visas, helping them gain access to their families overseas and helping them gain employment, she expressed her great displeasure of the news.

"Tonight [Saturday May 2], if you are part of any get-togethers, you can all expect to receive $1300 fines," she concluded.

Queensland Police officers can issue on the spot fines of $1334 for individuals and $6,672 for corporations which fail to abide by the health directions.



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