Travel agency fined $ 5,000 for taking buses full of tourists to Taronga Western Plains Zoo


NSW Police fined the owner of a travel agency $ 5,000 for violating COVID-19 public health orders after taking three tourist buses to Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo – albeit he knows that more than 70 people on board have been banned from traveling outside Greater Sydney.

Defying Sydney’s current lockdown, the tour group of 128, including staff and guests, arrived at the West New South Wales Zoo on Monday where they were denied entry, staff alerting the authorities.

State Emergency Operations Comptroller Assistant Commissioner Gary Worboys said the business owner told NSW Police he was aware of public health orders but had still decided to continue the tour as planned.

However, Deputy Commissioner Worboys said “the zoo staff did exactly the right thing – they isolated the risk and alerted the police. They did a great job protecting the local community. “

Officers from the Orana Mid-Western Police District attended and spoke to tour operators, establishing that the group had left Sydney on Friday, June 25 – before the Sydney lockdown.

The group had continued to travel throughout the NSW region after the public health orders were updated on Saturday, which plunged greater Sydney into a stay-at-home order from 6 p.m. today -the.

The guests, none of whom were fined, were ordered to return home immediately and the travel agency was fined.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo director Steve Hinks said staff refused entry to groups and told them to stay on the buses while police were notified.

Hinks advised “We have very strict COVID security protocols in place here.

“All correspondence with the company gave us assurance that this group was able to travel throughout the NSW area – of course on arrival this turned out not to be the case.”

The travel agency was among more than 30 public offense notices issued by NSW police across the state this week.

As investigations into other possible violations continue, NSW Police Minister David Elliott said it was disappointing that a large number of breaches of public health orders have taken place. produced on Monday, noting “I would ask everyone not only to follow the rules but to use your common sense and do your part to help NSW defeat this virus.”

Image: Lions at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

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