Coastal calls for better lockdown enforcement

Loch Sport residents who have witnessed travel ban breaches are calling for better enforcement to prevent COVID-19 spreading to their isolated community.

RESIDENTS in one of the Wellington Shire’s popular tourist hot spots are calling for better enforcement of lockdown rules, after dozens of tourists believed to be from Melbourne visited during the travel ban.
Several groups of people are suspected to have spent the past two weekends in holiday accommodation in Loch Sport, and have come to the attention of local shop owners and residents.
One resident, who did not want to be named, said a large group of up to 12 young adults had been heard in several shops boasting about being from the northern suburbs of Melbourne, and had not been wearing masks or socially distancing.
A Loch Sport shop owner said the same group of young adults was even captured on security camera on Saturday allegedly taking items they did not pay for, and had not followed COVID-safe protocols.
Several other holiday makers known to be from Melbourne have also been sighted around town, residents say.
The incidents have been reported to police and the COVID hotline, however it is unclear if they are being investigated.
“We know where this large group of young adults is staying, because we saw them at a house we know is a holiday house, and we know from what they have been saying that they are from Melbourne’s northern suburbs,” the resident said.
“They’ve been to the local coffee shop, they’ve been to the petrol station and they’ve been to other places, so they have put everybody at risk.
“I called the COVID hotline and police, and I know the shop owner did, but neither of us have heard anything and the group was still around town on Sunday.”
There are fears more residents living in the northern suburbs could be COVID-19 positive, after at least four people tested positive last month and several sites have been identified as tier one hot spots.
On Sunday, a “strong” wastewater COVID-19 reading was detected in the northern suburbs of Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park and Pascoe Vale, and residents were being urged to get tested.
Police were contacted for comment but said they won’t follow up media enquiries relating to potential individual breaches.