Melbourne truck driver who was responsible for a coronavirus cluster forming in regional Victoria has been fined $1,652 by police
- Melbourne truck driver travelled to northern Victoria while coronavirus positive
- He was permitted to travel for work but not allowed to dine at any restaurants
- The driver dined at a cafe in Kilmore on September 30 before travelling further
- He sparked an outbreak in Kilmore and Shepparton and a mass testing effort
- Victoria Police fined the driver $1,652 on October 17 for breaching the permit
The driver, who was a close contact of the Chadstone Shopping Centre cluster, dined at Oddfellows Cafe in Kilmore, 60km north of Melbourne, on September 30.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton on Thursday morning told 3AW‘s Neil Mitchell the fine had been issued on October 17.
‘We investigated, allocated some detectives to go and speak to that person and we issued him with a fine for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions,’ he said.
The Melbourne truck driver responsible for spreading coronavirus in regional northern Victoria has been fined $1,652 (Defence personnel pictured COVID-19 testing in Shepparton)
The driver, who was a close contact of the Chadstone Shopping Centre cluster, dined at Oddfellows Cafe in Kilmore (pictured), 60km north of Melbourne, on September 30
The driver had possessed a valid work permit to leave metropolitan Melbourne but was not allowed to dine at any regional Victorian restaurants.
Mr Patton said investigators determined fining the truck driver for disobeying this rule was ‘the most appropriate outcome’.
‘He’s been given the infringement, he’s been interviewed by us, we’ve explored what we could and couldn’t prove,’ he explained.
The driver travelled to Kilmore on September 29 before also visiting northern regional towns Benalla and Shepparton on September 30.
He was connected to the Chadstone cluster by a family member who worked at The Butcher Club but was unaware he was a close contact or COVID positive.
Victorian deputy chief health officer Allen Cheng said the truck driver had already left for Kilmore before the DHHS received his relative’s positive result.
A worker at the cafe became infected after the driver’s visit and a total of nine coronavirus cases emerged in the northern region.
The driver also travelled to regional towns Benalla and Shepparton (coronavirus testing pictured on October 15) on September 30 and sparked a massive testing blitz
The driver had been permitted to travel for work but was not allowed to dine at any regional establishments (cafe in Kilmore pictured) and was fined over this breach
He also visited the Central Tyre Service business in Shepparton on September 30, where three staff members tested positive.
The man felt sick after returning to Melbourne on September 30 and received a positive coronavirus result on October 2.
Huge resources were poured into containing the regional outbreak, as members of the Australian Defence Force were deployed and mass testing was conducted.
The truckie admitted to illegally dining at the cafe but only told DHHS contact tracers he stopped in Shepparton on October 13, after locals tested positive.
Mr Patton said the driver was ‘remorseful’ over his actions and wasn’t charged over withholding the Shepparton information for two weeks.
The Chadstone cluster has infected 39 people but a connected case has not been reported for several days.
Victoria recorded three new coronavirus cases and no deaths on Thursday.
The driver only told contact tracers about his travel to Shepparton (pictured above) two weeks later after workers at the tyre shop he visited tested positive