The change the police union boss says will boost COVID-19 rule compliance

Broadcast by 3AW on 18 August 2021

The boss of Victoria’s police union says there’s a change that will boost compliance with the Chief Health Officer’s rules, and it’s not tougher policing.

In an opinion piece in the Herald Sun, Police Association Secretary Wayne Gatt took a swipe at the decision to reintroduce a curfew and have police monitor playgrounds.

“Police are now tasked with enforcing a curfew that no one has welcomed, and to prevent families from going to playgrounds that bring them joy,” he wrote.

Joining Neil Mitchell on air, Mr Gatt said better health messaging will take the pressure off police to carry out strict enforcement of COVID-19 rules.

“I think more can be done … to be honest, in communicating the health reasons for this to the community so that they actually understand why,” he said.

“It comes to how you educate communities, how you help them through a health crisis, and that’s not by hitting them with a stick, it’s about helping them understand the challenges.

“If you do that, if you help the community understand better, you don’t need police to enforce things.”

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says health authorities are “investigating a potential transmission in a playground”.

Last night, Jacana Skatepark was added as a Tier 2 exposure site after a positive case was there for an hour on Saturday.