By ALLISON HORE
A Sydney bride from the Northern Beaches has been fined for defying COVID-19 lockdown rules to attend her own wedding at Doltone House in Pyrmont on Sunday.
Police crashed the wedding just after 5pm after receiving a tip-off which included pictures of guests mingling on a balcony.
After the ceremony concluded, police issued twelve fines of $1000 to attendees who were identified as residents of the Northern Beaches. Following further investigation nine more people, including the bride, were fined.
The 21 people slapped with fines included two people from Allambie Heights, a woman from Narraweena, a man from Frenchs Forest and five people from Beacon Hill. The groom was not fined, as he did not breach public health orders.
As a result of the growing COVID-19 cluster in the area, public health orders prohibit Northern Beaches residents from leaving their local government unless for essential reasons such as accessing services that are not available in the area.
A wedding ceremony is not considered essential.
The family told Nine the wedding was originally planned for July but had been postponed twice because of the pandemic. They say if the wedding was postponed again they would have been out of pocket thousands of dollars.
Instead, guests, including the wedding party, were out of pocket thousands of dollars in fines. Premier Gladys Berejiklian condemned the event and said she was “shocked” by the brazen breach of public health orders.
“We appreciate that those milestone events are special times for people, but please consider the greater risk you are posing to every person in New South Wales and the broader community of our nation,” she said
“Please know that if you do the wrong thing, you will get caught, especially when it is so brazen as to do that.”
Venue “fulfilled obligations”
Doltone House on Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont is in close proximity to a number of other popular Pyrmont destinations including the Star Casino.
The venue said in a statement posted to Facebook they had received a number of assurances prior to the event that all attendees were staying outside the Northern Beaches. They also said they had fulfilled their “statutory obligations” and all attendees registered their attendance through the QR code app.
“Had Doltone House been advised that any person attending the wedding was doing so in breach of government restrictions, then it would have taken all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of its guests and the broader community,” they said.
“Doltone House considers the spread of COVID-19 of paramount importance and continues to offer its support to its prevention.”
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing said the “vast majority” of people were complying with the orders but said police will continue to be “out in force issuing infringement notices” when .
“Sadly, there have been some exceptions to those rules,” he said
“People have to apply some common sense, we don’t want to see repeats of those isolated incidents we have seen across the last few days.”