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Harsher penalties for COVID-19 rule breakers

21 July 2020

The Marshall Liberal Government will today amend the Emergency Management Act to insert a maximum penalty of up to two years imprisonment for those who defy our strong border restrictions. 

Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said that after discussions with the Police Commissioner, Grant Stevens, the Government would strengthen the penalty for a breach of the Act. 

"Jail-time for people caught flouting the State's tough COVID-19 restrictions comes after discussions with the Police Commissioner, who has advised Government has hoped adding imprisonment as a penalty will help to deter people from breaking the rules.

"As a Government, we want to send the strongest possible message to those who break the law.

"We can't be too casual when it comes to protecting our State from the second wave of COVID-19 our Victorian neighbours are currently facing.

"South Australia has come too far to have reckless people coming into our State illegally and unwinding that good work.

"From the very beginning of this pandemic, we have always followed the advice of our health and law enforcement authorities, and this was no exception.

"As soon as the Police Commissioner expressed his support for a term of imprisonment being added into the Emergency Management Act, we acted.

"Legislation has been drafted, and will be introduced as our first priority today," Attorney-General Chapman said.

"We have planned to open the Act up to ensure Australian citizens returning home have to pay for their hotel quarantine, so adding this term of imprisonment to section 28 of the Act at the same time made sense.

"The safety of South Australians is our utmost priority and we hope the addition of a term of imprisonment will deter anyone thinking about crossing the border illegally and putting our State at risk."