As a new wave of rallies are approaching this weekend, an MP is calling for protesters to cop the equivalent of six-months of Jobseeker payments in fines.
As a new wave of rallies are approaching this weekend, an MP is calling for protesters to cop the equivalent of six-months of Jobseeker payments in fines.

MP wants protesters to suffer Jobseeker payment punishment

PROTESTERS who flout mass gathering bans should cop fines the equivalent of six months Jobseeker or JobKeeper payments, LNP Bowman MP Andrew Laming called for.

It follows a Black Lives Matter protester who attended the Melbourne rally testing positive for COVID-19 sparking fears of a new outbreak.

Mr Laming said people defying public health directives should face fines the equivalent of the coronavirus welfare payments.

Liberal Member for Bowman Andrew Laming says people ignoring health restrictions to attend rallies should cop massive fines. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Liberal Member for Bowman Andrew Laming says people ignoring health restrictions to attend rallies should cop massive fines. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

He said while cutting them off from the payments would not be possible, the judiciary could fine them up to $13,345. Six months of Jobseeker for a single person is about $13,380.

"These warnings not to congregate are clear and unambiguous. They are now being blatantly ignored, so of course the last resort is the hip pocket," Mr Laming said.

"If protesters fail to distance and de-congregate, Police and the courts are entitled to follow public health directives which are in place in every state and territory."

 

He said it was disappointing that attendees were "doubling down" on the gatherings, saying "a proportion of them are blissfully pocketing taxpayer COVID support".

"You can't take from taxpayers with one hand, then intentionally increase the risk of infecting them with the other," he said.

Earlier, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said cutting protesters ignoring the health restrictions off from the payments was "a conversation worth having".

"But right now it's up to the states to impose the rules that they inflict on everyone else," he said.

Originally published as Protesters should cop fines equivalent to 6 months Jobseeker: MP


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