Tycoon border breacher can stay ‘if he wants’

 

 

Construction magnate Mark Simonds and his Lady Pamela travel companions will on Tuesday be released from their luxury hotel quarantine after their controversial arrival in Queensland via superyacht two weeks ago.

Having returned a final negative COVID-19 result, the group of seven will be allowed to stay in Queensland if they want, Queensland Health confirmed.

The Simonds, along with Hannah Fox, the eldest daughter of trucking magnate Peter Fox, have allegedly been quarantining in the king suite at the QT hotel in Surfers Paradise for the last two weeks after they left Melbourne on August 9 amid stage 4 lockdown.

The yacht and its seven occupants were initially granted a travel exemption to come to the Gold Coast marina to have the vessel serviced; however, Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young later revoked the exemptions after those on-board allegedly breached conditions of their exemption in NSW.

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said the only requirement for people travelling to Queensland from a hot spot was to do their 14 days of quarantine and return a negative test.

"From our perspective they're good to go," the spokeswoman said.

"It's up to them whether they stay or go."

Mark Simonds is tested for coronavirus aboard the Lady Pamela superyacht. Picture: A Current Affair – 9 News
Mark Simonds is tested for coronavirus aboard the Lady Pamela superyacht. Picture: A Current Affair – 9 News

 

The crew was subject to a police investigation, with the skipper charged last week for allegedly making a false declaration to Queensland Health. Greg Numa will front Southport Magistrates Court on Friday.

Six other people on-board the 30m luxury yacht have also been fined after a NSW Police Marine Area Command investigation found the crew and passengers illegally disembarked in the state three times while en route to the Gold Coast.

Police say the individuals disembarked at Eden on Wednesday, August 12, Port Stephens on Sunday, August 16, and at Yamba on Friday, August 21.

On Monday, Health Minister Steven Miles said the state did not want "people using creative ways to get around travel restrictions".

"I want to see them fined if that is appropriate. I want to see them charged if that is appropriate," he said.

"They are the kind of investigations I understand are under way"

A Queensland Police spokesman said police had nothing to do with the group after they completed quarantine.

Ms Fox's father is already on the Gold Coast after he told Queensland authorities that he drives trucks, entitling him to an exemption to the state's ban on Victorian visitors.

Originally published as Tycoon breacher can stay 'if he wants'