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Sydney: Military deployed to help enforce lockdown


Gifted One
Staff member
Apr 16, 2021
Perched on a rock in Canada
A Delta outbreak which began in June has produced nearly 3,000 infections and led to nine deaths.

Australian Defence Force soldiers will undergo training on the weekend before beginning unarmed patrols on Monday.

But many have questioned whether the military intervention is necessary, calling it heavy-handed.

The lockdown - in place until at least 28 August - bars people from leaving their home except for essential exercise, shopping, caregiving and other reasons.

Despite five weeks of lockdown, infections in the nation's largest city continue to spread. Officials recorded 170 new cases on Friday.

Soldiers will join police in virus hotspots to ensure people are following the rules, which include a 10km (6.2 miles) travel limit.

State Police Minister David Elliott said it would help because a small minority of Sydneysiders thought "the rules didn't apply to them".

Information provided by health officials indicates the virus is mainly spreading through permitted movement.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance, a civil rights group, called the deployment a "concerning use" of the army in a liberal democracy.

The outbreak has largely affected critical workers and large family groups in the city's poorer and ethnically diverse west and south-west suburbs. About two million people live there.

Critics say those areas have already faced "targeted" policing measures. They point out restrictions there are harsher than for the rest of Sydney.

"Our people are one of the poorest demographics, and as it is, they already feel picked on and marginalised," said Steve Christou, one local mayor.

"They can't afford to pay the mortgage, the rent, the food or work. Now to throw out the army to enforce lockdown on the streets is going to be a huge issue to these people," he told SBS.

Others have called for the government to increase its vaccine drive and support services for the affected communities.

Australia's rate of vaccination - 17% of the adult population - remains one of the lowest among OECD nations.


Not a pretty picture in Australia. I wish them the best of luck & hope they get this under control soon!

We have several Australians on this board. I especially hope everything works out well for them!

It's really no good to enforce isolation without vaccination.  Both are very important. you can still contract the virus if you are fully vaccinated, but, yes, it can make you very ill, but it may not kill you..

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I read that OZ vaccination is not as good as it should be. Those figures are not encouraging.  Get them jabs going now, it's the only way. 

Keep going my Oz friends, help each other out, keep your distance and get jabbed ASAP.

My understanding is that the government didn't bring enough vaccinations in so it isn't available.

Not that people are refusing to get vaccinated.

I'd say heads are going to roll by the time this it's all over.

Australia Covid: Brisbane lockdown after Delta variant cases

Millions more Australians are now in lockdown as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread.

Authorities have imposed a snap three-day lockdown in south-eastern parts of Queensland, including Australia's third largest city Brisbane, which began at 16:00 (06:00 GMT) on Saturday.

It is the latest part of the country to reimpose restrictions in a bid to cut Covid infections.

Fewer than 15% of Australians are fully vaccinated against the virus.

Queensland officials reported six new Covid cases there, all linked to a high school student who tested positive on Thursday.

Dr Jeannette Young, chief health officer in Queensland, told reporters they were tracing any contacts of those who had tested positive and said she thought there could be "an enormous number of exposure sites" in Brisbane.

"If anyone has any symptoms at all, this is the time - you must come forward and get tested immediately," she said.

The restrictions imposed are the strictest yet in Queensland. People are only allowed to leave home to buy essential goods or carry out essential work, to exercise or to go for medical treatment.

It comes a day after authorities deployed hundreds of soldiers in Australia's largest city Sydney to enforce its Covid lockdown.

Sydney's measures will stay in place until at least 28 August.

The state of New South Wales recorded a further death and 210 fresh infections on Saturday, after five weeks of lockdown. Last Saturday police arrested dozens of demonstrators who protested against the restrictions.

State officials have reportedly announced they are diverting their allocated vaccine doses to Sydney, sending tens of thousands of jabs to high school students around the city so that face-to-face teaching can resume.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has faced mounting criticism for the slow pace of Australia's vaccine rollout.

On Friday he announced that once 70% of the country was fully vaccinated, lockdowns would become more targeted.

Mr Morrison said he believed the country could reach that goal by the end of 2021.

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OMG dvernb

It's really bad there then!.  I think that the government thought the population was so sparse that they would be safe.  That's just my own thoughts.

The whole world is not safe, they need to wise up, get them vaccines rolling now.

Anything like this brings the crazies out of the woodwork, anti-vaxxers have been noisy for years in a lot of countries.

Their children getting sick or even dying does not seem to deter them.

Sydney lockdown fines hiked to $3,700 as Australia faces 'worst' Covid situation

Police in Australia hiked fines for people breaking lockdown rules in Sydney and the rest of its home state on Saturday and strict stay-at-home orders were extended statewide amid a record jump in daily new Covid-19 infections.

State police will fine up to A$5,000 ($3,700) anyone breaching stay-at-home orders or for lying to contract-tracing officials, said state Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Previously breaching quarantine orders had carried a A$1,000 fine.

"We have to accept that this is the worst situation New South Wales has been in since day one. And it's also regrettably, because of that, the worst situation Australia's been in," she told a news conference.

Locally transmitted infections surged by a record 466 over the previous 24 hours, eclipsing the previous daily high of 390 set on Friday. Four deaths were recorded on Saturday, taking the state's total in the latest outbreak to 42.

It is becoming increasingly unlikely Sydney will end its nine-week lockdown on Aug. 28 as planned. Authorities had been talking about easing some restrictions if enough people are vaccinated and case numbers fall.

"We will get through this, but September and October are going to be very difficult," Berejiklian said.

"This is literally a war, and we've known we've been in a war for some time, but never to this extent."

Hundreds more defense personnel will be deployed next week to Sydney to help enforce the lockdown, with authorities particularly concerned about the spread of the virus to several regional towns.


I’ve been vaccinated. I am not sure it’s the panacea everyone believes it to be. The best defense against plagues is natural resistance and selection. Herd immunity will develop in time. Any defense we mount is a temporary bandaid.

If people put their faith in nature over science that is their Right IMO. Sending troops into civilian populations to enforce mandates contrary to human rights reminds me of past and recent totalitarian abuses.

The times we live in I guess.

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I understand your concerns for human rights but the folks in Australia have a very serious problem on their hands and they absolutely have to get it under control come hell or high water.

End of story! If they have to step on some people's rights to save the population as a whole then so be it!

What is terrible is that the country was allowed to get into this situation in the first place! I've no doubt that heads will roll before this is all over!

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It seems the politicians and the government made the situation it is today and now they are going to 'fix-it'.  The government will not fix anything with an iron fist. It will make things worse. The government can't affect change that way. It takes understanding and finesse and that's something no politician is capable of IMO. The private sector could do a lot more if it were allowed to. Media could help convince people to use caution and take advantage of whatever solutions our medical and scientific minds come up with. It's not perfect but it's all we have so far. That's why I took the vaccine. I'm not convinced of it's efficacy but our media has done a better job of presenting it than our government ever would have. I see hopeful public service announcements in American media that helped me decide to go ahead and take the vaccine until something better comes along. I know it won't prevent the "Delta" variant or whatever other variant may come along but today it's the best thing available and I'm thankful for it.

Australia's media isn't doing enough to convince Australians to take the vaccine and the government to provide enough for everyone. That's how it should be handled. Use the power of social media and broadcast media not the military. That is the absolute wrong way to proceed. You cannot use force to convince people only to control them. They need to convince the people then things will change.

Sorry if I'm sounding unreasonable about this military thing. I don't like it. It sets a bad precedent.

Meanwhile, back in the USA...


Both of those combatants are dressed in civilian clothing not military uniforms. In the US you’ll find displays of aggression and violence are part of everyday life among the people and against law enforcement but no military involvement. And yet we have 67%+ vaccination compliance. Go figure.

Australia's Worst Day Of Pandemic Sees Restrictions Tighten

Australia's most populous state on Monday reported its worst day of the pandemic with 478 new infections and seven COVID-19 deaths as pandemic restrictions tightened in other parts of the country.

The previous record daily tally in New South Wales was 466 new cases reported on Saturday.

Two of the dead had received a single dose of a two-shot vaccine. The rest were unvaccinated, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

Only 26% of Australians aged 16 and older had been fully vaccinated by Saturday. Australia has one of the slowest vaccine rollouts among wealthy countries, which is making the spread of the delta variant particularly dangerous.

The first shipment of 1 million Pfizer doses that Australia bought from Poland arrived in Sydney overnight.

Residents aged 16-to-39 in Sydney's worst-effected suburbs will be given 530,000 of the new doses, the government said. This age group was responsible for most of the virus spread.

Berejiklian blamed Sydney residents' failure to comply with the city's lockdown restrictions and stay-at-home orders for the escalating infections.

"The case numbers are disturbingly high and we are ... at a fork in the road," Berejiklian said.

"We will see the numbers come down when people stay home and people don't move about unless they absolutely have to. Until we see that, we're not going to see the case numbers go down," she added.

Melbourne reported 22 new infections on Monday. Even with the substantially smaller problem, Victoria state Premier Danial Andrews said Australia' largest city after Sydney was at a "tipping point" in its battle to stamp out all infections.

A lockdown that was due to end on Thursday was extended to Sept. 2 with a 9 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew beginning on Tuesday.

Tougher restrictions include a ban on people removing face masks to drink alcohol in public. This followed a "Walk. Talk. Sip" event advertised on social media that encouraged people to stroll from pub to pub in the suburb of Richmond with takeout drinks over the weekend.

"We've seen people turning the footpath into an impromptu beer garden and doing pub crawls," Andrews said. "We've seen lots of people flouting these rules, not doing as they should, making really poor choices."

The national capital Canberra also extended a lockdown that was to end this week until Sept. 2 after reporting 19 news infections on Monday. The virus came from Sydney but authorities don't know how.

There have been a total of 28 cases recorded since Canberra locked down when the first case was detected on Thursday last week.

The Northern Territory introduced a snap three-day lockdown because of a single case detected on Monday.

The American man, aged in his 30s, tested positive in the Northern Territory city of Katherine where he had traveled for a job, officials said.

Katherine and the Northern Territory capital Darwin, where he spent three days last week, will be locked down until Thursday. People are only allowed to leave home for essential reasons and must wear masks outside their homes.

The New South Wales government has been criticized for waiting 10 days before locking down Sydney after a limousine driver was infected while transporting a U.S. air crew from Sydney Airport and tested positive on June 16.

Surrounding New South Wales was entirely locked down from Saturday because of recent infections detected in regional towns and virus found in wastewater north and west of Sydney.


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I always thought Australia was a westernized country, I didn't know they could so easily use their military on their own people. Scary.

I am double jabbed, I live on my own, I do not mix with others at all.  But these anti vaxers are a worry for me.  They are filling up the hospital beds that are needed to treat people who have cancer and other serious diseases.

Just to clarify, and the Australians on the board are welcome to correct me if I'm wrong, people refusing to get vaccinated is not the problem. Thanks to government bungling the vaccine has not been available for people to get vaccinated even if they wanted to, and they have wanted to!

When the Delta variant arrived only 24% pf the population was vaccinated. It took off like wildfire causing a huge increase in covid-19 infections & deaths. The healthcare system was completely overwhelmed!

In order to stem the surge of infections the country went into a mandatory lockdown which included stay at home orders. The end date for this has been extended a couple of times and is now Sept 2nd I believe.

People were defying the stay at home orders so they stepped up enforcement & increased the fines for this. 

When that didn't work they deployed the military.

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1 case was reported in New Zealand the other day the first reported case in over 6 months and they went into full lockdown mode  ... yesterday Scotland had over 3,000 cases (the schools are back in Scotland and kids are being tested) and Scotland has a similar population as New Zealand 

Police arrest hundreds of protesters as Australia reports record COVID-19 cases

Australian police arrested hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters in Melbourne and Sydney on Saturday and seven officers were hospitalised as a result of clashes, as the country saw its highest ever single-day rise in COVID-19 cases.

Mounted police used pepper spray in Melbourne to break up crowds of more than 4,000 surging toward police lines, while smaller groups of protesters were prevented from congregating in Sydney by a large contingent of riot police.

Victoria state police said that they arrested 218 people in the state capital Melbourne. They issued 236 fines and kept three people in custody for assaulting police. The arrested people face fines of A$5,452 ($3,900) each for breaching public health orders.

Police in New South Wales, where Sydney is the capital, said they charged 47 people with breaching public health orders or resisting arrest, among other offences, and issued more than 260 fines ranging from A$50 ($35) to $3,000. The police said about 250 people made it to the city for the protest.

Sydney, Australia's biggest city with more than 5 million people, has been in a strict lockdown for more than two months, failing to contain an outbreak that has spread across internal borders and as far as neighbouring New Zealand.

The vast majority of the 894 cases reported across Australia on Saturday were found in Sydney, the epicentre of the Delta variant-fuelled outbreak.

"We are in a very serious situation here in New South Wales," said state Health Minister Brad Hazzard. "There is no time now to be selfish, it's time to think of the broader community and your families."

Police patrolled Sydney's streets and blocked private and public transport into the city centre to reduce the number of people gathering at an unauthorised protest.

In Melbourne, the country's second-most populous city, a large crowd managed to march and some clashed with police, after state Premier Daniel Andrews expanded a city lockdown to the entire state.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton had earlier warned people to stay away from the protest, adding it was "just ridiculous to think that people would be so selfish and come and do this."

Several hundred people also protested peacefully in Brisbane, which is not in lockdown.

Just 7% of Australians support the often-violent protests, according to a late-July poll by market research firm Utting Research.

Compliance with public health rules has been one of the key cited reasons behind Australia's success, relative to other rich countries, in managing the pandemic. But the country has been struggling to rein in the third wave of infections that began in Sydney in mid-June.

Australia has had about 43,000 COVID-19 cases and 978 deaths. But while those numbers are low, only about a third of Australians aged 16 and above have been fully vaccinated, according to federal health ministry data released on Saturday.

New South Wales officials reported three deaths and 516 people in hospital on Saturday. Of the 85 people in intensive care, 76 were unvaccinated, officials said.

At least 96 people were active in the community during their infectious period, and there were a number of breaches of public health orders, all slowing the efforts to curtail the outbreak.

In Victoria, at least 39 people were active in the community while infectious. Eighteen people were in hospital, eight in intensive care and six on ventilators.