Police raid illegal campers at Five Rocks north of Yeppoon.
Police raid illegal campers at Five Rocks north of Yeppoon.

BIG N’ BOOZY: CQ Police detail illegal bush party

Campers fined for COVID-19 breach: Capricornia police are urging locals to abide by COVID-19 regulations after a large group of campers were located gathering at the Defence Training Area at Shoalwater Bay.
Campers fined for COVID-19 breach: Capricornia police are urging locals to abide by COVID-19 regulations after a large group of campers were located gathering at the Defence Training Area at Shoalwater Bay.

WHEN police were called to a group of 30 and 50 people camping in the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area near Five Rocks, they described what they found as a large, boozy party.

Three people have been charged in relation to the incident but many more charges and fines may be pending as police follow up with other members the large group.

Some revellers allegedly travelled from as far as Emerald and the Sunshine Coast to attend the bush party, well exceeding the 150km travel restriction.

Inspector Mark Burgess said it was clear the event was organised.

"It was clearly an organised event (and) clearly that is against the Chief Health Officer's directions," he said.

Police catch a large group of campers at Five Rocks over the weekend
Police catch a large group of campers at Five Rocks over the weekend

"It was an attempt to move a house party environment out to a public area.

"There was quite a lot of alcohol consumption among those people, so details were recorded, and investigations are underway."

So far, only two 19-year-old men and an 18-year-old man have been issued with a notice to appear in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on August 19 for trespassing on Commonwealth Land and the trio was issued infringements for breaching the Chief Health Officer's public health direction.

Inspector Mark Burgess.
Inspector Mark Burgess.

However, police are continuing investigations and Inspector Burgess confirmed there was a potential for further travel restriction infringements for those who travelled long distances for the party.

Police located the large group just after 2am on Sunday after tip-offs from the public complaining of people camping and driving dangerously.

"We've given that message before about camping, we've spoken publicly about it - when we see something that's blatant and reckless, people can expect fines," Inspector Burgess warned.

Police can issue on the spot fines of $1334 for individuals and $6672 for corporations which fail to follow health directions.

Police raid illegal campers at Five Rocks north of Yeppoon.
Police raid illegal campers at Five Rocks north of Yeppoon.

Between March 27 and Monday May 18, Queensland Police handed out 2010 infringement notices for breach of public health directions.

Until stage two of easing restrictions on June 12, you may travel 150km for recreational activities, but camping is not yet permitted.

From June 12, Central Queenslanders will be able be able to travel 250km within their region with the option to camp or stay at other accommodation like caravan parks.

Subject to further planning and review, stage three (July 10) earmarks the return of large gatherings (100 people) and the resumption of camping and other recreational activities in national and state parks.