Mayor threatens to call cops on ‘selfish’ beachgoers
GOLD Coast Mayor Tom Tate has blasted "selfish" beachgoers, warning he will close the beaches and call in the police.
Cr Tate unleashed just hours after the Bulletin published images showing still-packed beaches and large crowds at Springbrook in the Hinterland.
The Bulletin understands council staff have also been forced to contend with eager exercise junkies ripping tape off the closed public gym equipment to continue their workouts.
He said their behaviour was unacceptable and said he was prepared to take drastic action.
"The Premier and I are at one on this and if they cannot help themselves, I will have no choices because COVID-19 is the biggest problem facing our country," he said.
"As far as our city is concerned, we have to protect each other, please continue social distancing.
"I am disappointed because it will be a team effort to beat COVID-19, and these people are letting the community down."
Cr Tate said he was disappointed to see scores of young people visiting the Gold Coast Hinterland over the weekend.
He warned Gold Coasters needed to work together to continue social distancing and ensure their safety or otherwise the city would end up locked down similar to New York and other metropolises
"We do not want to get to the stage where the curve doesn't flatter and we follow the same way as Europe and the UK and the US and New York.
"To lock the city down, that's not what anyone else wants, so those people who are breaking ranks are forcing my hand to close the beaches.
"This will be taking away the essence of the Gold Coast. Don't be the person who does that."
Earlier, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk alluded to beach closures on the Coast if locals fail to follow social distancing measures.
Speaking to the media today following a major jump in statewide coronavirus cases - now at 743 - Ms Palaszczuk issued a warning to Gold Coasters caught frolicking in packs on the beach yesterday.
"I spoke to Tom Tate about this," she said.
"Everyone, you have got to do the right thing.
"People live near our beaches and should be able to walk around our beaches.
"But if we are going to see mass gatherings, Mayors may close beaches, I am giving that warning today.
"Do the right thing, come on, it is not fair to do the wrong thing here because lives are at risk.
"We need to make sure people are absolutely doing the right thing, and police will be out there observing people if they don't."
The state government also announced a new unit to track individuals who have been required to quarantine.
Law enforcement officials will now be able to assist the Public Health Units with contact tracing people who have come into contact with a known coronavirus case.
"They will also lead the enforcement of people who have been ordered to quarantine, making sure they stay inside their homes, to protect others and slow the spread of coronavirus," the Premier said.
"The enforcement team will also assist with ensuring the self-isolation of people diagnosed with coronavirus.
"The vast majority are doing the right thing and following the rules, but we need to ensure there's 100 per cent compliance."
Originally published as Mayor threatens to call cops on 'selfish' beachgoers