Australia’s latest ‘expert-imposed’ lockdown of its most-populous city – Sydney – is growing increasingly authoritarian as Australia’s conservative PM Scott Morrison dispatches another 100 police officers to Sydney to enforce the lockdown measures, reviving complaints that Australia’s enforcement of its COVID measures has been unnecessarily heavy-handed.
Starting at 0700 local time on Friday, more than 100 additional officers will be stationed on the streets of Sydney, where they will continue to work for the remainder of the lockdown (which was just extended by two weeks), according to local press reports.
Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke warned that rising numbers of infections had prompted the decision to dispatch police.
“Compliance is about us getting ahead of this virus,” Cooke said on Thursday. “(NSW) Health have very clearly said to us we have a difficulty in south west Sydney.”
Cook added that the police would be asked to patrol supermarkets and shopping centers, confronting anybody who might dare attempt to buy anything.
“The question we’ll be asking is ‘what’s your reasonable excuse for being here, you don’t need a pair of shoes today.'”
“We need people to take responsibility and comply.”
Asked if the response was “heavy-handed”, Commander Cooke (one of the officials in charge of the police response) replied “not at all.”
In other news, PM Scott Morrison has decided that the asset test limiting who can access weekly payments of up to $500 for losing work hours during a Covid-19 lockdown will be waived in the future.
For workers who will miss out on pay, Australia is making it easier to access up to $500 in compensation payments for lost hours. The government says a means test limiting access to the program will be waived.
Previously people who lost more than 20 hours work could only get $500 a week if they had less than $10,000 in liquid assets.
Still, thousands of small-business owners in the area would much rather have their businesses open than rely upon checks from the government that don’t really cover their nut.
Sydney’s lockdown was ordered by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who has promised zero tolerance of COVID, despite the fact that scientists like Dr. Scott Gottlieb have warned that COVID is very likely now endemic to the human population, and that the best authorities can hope to do is manage it.
Unfortunately for the experts, the lockdown hasn’t reduced the number of new COVID cases, which has climbed in the weeks since the lockdown started. 38 new cases were discovered in the 24 hours to Thursday.
The big question now is how long will this continue? When will the authorities admit that the lockdowns have been ineffective?