Mandatory masks: Police union’s warning to Melburnians who refuse to mask up

Broadcast by 3AW on 23 July 2020

Melburnians and Mitchell Shire residents are today waking to the first morning of mandatory mask wearing as the battle against COVID-19 ramps up.

Police have been ordered to exercise discretion for the first seven days of mandatory mask-wearing, but the police union has warned that doesn’t mean fines won’t be issued.

Secretary of the Police Association, Wayne Gatt, said police understand there will be an adjustment period.

“Discretion for the next seven days has been the advice from Victoria Police,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“I think it’s a good thing, it will help the community to adjust … but we shouldn’t take that to mean that police won’t be issuing infringements for this.”

Those caught without a mask face $200 on-the-spot fines.

Mr Gatt said he doesn’t expect backlash from the community over mandatory mask-wearing.

“It’s on all of us in the community to try and get this right, not just because there are fines but because it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Police members will also be wearing masks at work.