Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

COVID border-hopping fruit picker gives birth at Coffs

A woman who allegedly crossed the border into NSW from Victoria unlawfully, later presented to Coffs Harbour Health Campus to give birth.

The 26-year-old woman (and a 28-year-old man) were among the 10 Malaysian nationals who were all travelling in convoy from Victoria on their way to pick fruit in Coffs Harbour.

Just before 7pm on Monday August 17, officers attached to Operation Border Control stopped the four vehicles at a border checkpoint on the Murray Valley Highway, Euston.

They all presented Victorian border resident permits and advised officers of their plan to drive to Coffs Harbour to find work as fruit pickers.

After advising the group their permits did not allow for travel beyond the border zone and that they would be required to fly into Sydney and quarantine in hotel before they could continue north, the group was refused entry and directed to return to Victoria.

Last Thursday (August 27), officers from Coffs/Clarence Police District received information that the 26-year-old woman had presented at Coffs Harbour Hospital to give birth in company with the 28-year-old man, and it was suspected they crossed the border unlawfully.

Police spoke with the pair after she was discharged from hospital yesterday (Monday August 31), and it was established they crossed at a different location on the border resident permit.

The pair was issued Court Attendance Notices for not comply with noticed direction re s 7/8/9 - COVID-19. They are both due to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court on Monday September 14.

Inquiries into the incident are continuing.

Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

Other Penalty Infringement Notices issued in recent days include:

- Officers from Mid North Coast Police District attended a field on Boyters Lane, Jerseyville, about 10.30pm on Saturday, following reports of a large party. On arrival, police observed at least 80 people inside a shed who were displaying little regard for current health advice. After officers attempted to disperse the crowd, many attendees became aggressive towards them and threw glass bottles. The officers retreated outside to await back-up, but the group began to disperse leaving a small number who were packing up electrical equipment. Following further inquiries, a 22-year-old Port Macquarie man and a 24-year-old West Kempsey woman were advised they would receive a $1000 PIN, while a 14-year-old boy was given a warning under the Young Offenders Act.

- About 1.40am on Sunday August 2, officers from South Sydney Police Area Command spoke with a 25-year-old man on Sam Sing Street, Waterloo, while conducting inquiries into an unrelated incident. It was established that the man had recently returned from Melbourne and was out walking in contravention of self-isolation directions. The man was directed to return to his home and advised he would receive a $1000 PIN, which was issued yesterday (Monday, August 31).

- About 11.30pm last Wednesday (August 26 ), officers from Monaro Police District were contacted following reports of a large party in the staff quarters of a resort at Jindabyne. As the officers approached the unit, a partygoer alerted the occupants of the police presence and 20-30 people ran from the area. Police then located at least 30 people inside the unit, however none were the occupants. The group were given warnings in relation to the Public Health Orders before being dispersed. Following inquiries with hotel management to identify the occupants, two men - aged 22 and 25 - were each issued a $1000 PIN yesterday. Inquiries are continuing and further PINs are expected to be issued.

- About 8.30am last Friday (August 28), officers from Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command attended a restaurant on Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, following reports a man was refusing to leave. On arrival, police were advised the man had left, but the officers observed a number of issues and requested to see the COVID Safety Plan, which could not be produced due to a recent change of ownership and management. Police subsequently directed the 59-year-old male co-owner to complete and register a plan immediately. Following further inquiries, which established the change of ownership was more than a month ago, police spoke with the co-owner yesterday, and he was issued a $5000 PIN.

- Officers from Mt Druitt Police Area Command responded to reports of a large house party at Lethbridge Park about 12.30am on Saturday ( August 29). Police located about 100 people at the home, with a number of teens becoming aggressive and violent. Four teenagers were charged over the public order incident and remain before the courts. Following further inquiries, the 22-year-old female resident was issued a $1000 PIN yesterday.

- About 8pm on Saturday (August 29), officers from Marine Area Command met a vessel at King Street Wharf after receiving information in relation to possible breaches of Public Health Orders during the charter. Police observed 41 people on board, who were not observing social distancing or directions under the Public Health Act and after speaking with the ship's master, it was established the vessel's COVID Safety Plan was incomplete. Following inquiries, the business manager attended The Rocks Police Station about 3pm yesterday, where he was served a $5000 PIN.

Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community.

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