Protestors at Goulburn, Moruya and Ulladulla were among more than 150 people arrested during unauthorised COVID-19 lockdown demonstrations held across NSW on Tuesday, 31 August.
Protestors at Bega were also issued penalty infringement notices (PINs) of up to $3000 each, while groups were moved on at Tumut and Cooma.
Acting on information and intelligence, NSW Police deployed more than 900 officers to conduct high-visibility patrols of various sites expected to be targeted by unauthorised protests.
General Duties officers were supported by the Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Police Transport Command, the Dog and Mounted Unit, and other specialist units.
In total, 153 people were arrested, many of who were released after officers were able to establish their identity to issue a PIN.
Others were charged with a variety of offences, including various breaches of the public health order, assault police, resist arrest, refusing to comply with police direction, and failing to move on.
In the southern region, one person was arrested and five PINs were issued at the Goulburn Mulwaree Council offices.
Also, six people were dispersed by police after gathering outside Cooma Post Office, and five PINs were issued at the Bega Valley Shire Council chambers.
At Moruya, one person was arrested and 10 PINs issued, while in Tumut, about 18 people were dispersed by police after gathering outside the Snowy Valley Council offices.
Up to 40 people were dispersed at Nowra, and two people were arrested and two PINs issued at the Ulladulla office of Shoalhaven City Council.
At Wagga Wagga City Council office, two people were arrested and four PINs issued.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said a number of officers were injured during protests that took place outside NSW Parliament House, in Sydney, and regional council chambers.
He said the actions by those who “failed to abide by public health orders” were “incredibly disappointing when so many people are doing the right thing”.
A total of 573 PINs were issued, including not wear fitted masked covering in prescribed outdoor gathering ($500), not comply with noticed direction re: s7/8/9 – COVID-19 ($1000), and unlawfully participate in outdoor public gathering – stay at home order ($3000).
Inquiries into the incidents are continuing and further PINs are expected to be issued, including for failing to comply with self-isolation direction ($5000).