Melbourne man refused boat hire

A PORT Albert business has refused to serve a customer after becoming suspicious as to where he was from.

On Sunday, Port Albert Boat and Tackle had a customer wanting to hire a boat.

After questioning, the man admitted he was from Melbourne, but claimed to have been out of the lockdown zone for 15 days.

With the customer’s story not adding up, the business investigated further, saying it discovered the man had driven through the night, visiting and stopping in towns along the way.

He was subsequently refused boat hire.

A spokesman for the business wrote it should not have been put in this position, and people were clearly not adhering to lockdown rules.

“This person could [have] knowingly or unknowingly brought a costly and deadly consequence to our beautiful town,” the spokesperson wrote.

“We will continue to ask questions and adhere to the COVID safe guidelines which are in place to keep us safe.

“Stay home if you are supposed to so we can get through this awful situation we are all in.

“Think about the safety of others and stop being selfish and entitled.

“A life could depend on you doing the right thing.”

The spokesperson wrote as a business it was extremely difficult to remain open and feel safe when incidents like this happened.

The denial of entry by businesses to those from the lockdown zones seems to be a little-known requirement under new directives.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services website, business owners outside metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire who run a business that is restricted inside these areas “have additional responsibilities”.

“These business owners must use reasonable endeavours to satisfy themselves that their customers do not live in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire,” it states.

“This can be confirmed using a driver’s license or other relevant forms of ID.”

Victoria Police can issue on-the-spot fines of up to $1652 for individuals and up to $9913 for businesses for refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions, refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk power direction or refusing or failing to comply with a direction by the Chief Health Officer to provide information. Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses are possible through the court system.

If you want to report a suspected breach of public health restrictions, such as isolation, a mass gathering or business breaches, phone the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or report online.