Shock as police find more than 1000 at party
POLICE have spent the weekend breaking up huge parties flouting coronavirus restrictions in northern NSW, including one reportedly attended by more than 1000 people.
It comes after Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson last week raised concerns about big gatherings in the area and pleaded with holiday-makers to maintain social distancing.
Only 20 visitors are allowed in a home under NSW COVID-19 restrictions.
Tweed Byron Police Detective Chief Inspector Matt Kehoe said officers came across more than 1000 people at a party on a private property at Wilsons Creek over the weekend.
He also told the ABC officers were also called to a Byron Bay house party where the number of attendees exceeded 10 times the limit.
"It is very disappointing," he said.
"You can still have a good smaller party, but certainly don't go to the extremes that we've seen in the last few days."
Earlier, Cr Richardson said police had reached out to him "about some gatherings that have been happening in Byron Bay recently, and are warning visitors to stick to the rules or risk fines".
"I get that there's a strong temptation to let your hair down a bit, especially if you're here for some relaxing and getting away from what has been a really stressful year, but I ask that we all put the safety of the whole community first," he said.
"As we've seen in Victoria, there is no room for complacency, and we all have to do our bit."
Meanwhile, busking permits are still banned in Byron Shire until the end of the month to discourage gatherings of people in the streets."
The prohibited gatherings in northern NSW come as Queensland prepares to open its border to all states and territories but Victoria on July 10. A declaration system will be used to screen motorists crawling through checkpoints.
On Sunday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the Gold Coast had the last and only active coronavirus case in Queensland. In total, 1067 cases have been recorded.
Queensland Police have issued tens of thousands of dollars worth of fines to revellers flouting coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks and months, including on the Coast.
Originally published as Shock as police find more than 1000 at party