Melbourne millionaire’s Yamba stop under investigation
AN INVESTIGATION is underway into the movements of a luxury yacht and its occupants after a Melbourne multi-millionaire sailed from Victoria's COVID-19 lockdown to Queensland.
Construction magnate Mark Simonds, the executive director of the ASX-listed Simonds Group which builds luxury homes, and his family moored the 30m yacht Lady Pamela on the Gold Coast on Monday after a 15-day voyage.
After the occupants were initially granted exemptions to travel from Melbourne to Queensland, yesterday Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young on Tuesday revoked the exemptions for the seven on board the vessel.
"All seven people are now required to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 14 days at their own expense," she said.
Under current COVID-19 law, anyone travelling into Queensland from a declared hotspot by boat is able to avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine, providing they have been isolated at sea and returned a negative test result upon arrival to the state.
Concerns were raised however when reports emerged claiming those on-board The Lady Pamela had docked several times throughout their two-week journey, including when they stopped to swim in the Clarence River at Yamba in northern New South Wales.
Today a NSW Police Force spokesperson confirmed NSW Police were looking into the movements of the Lady Pamela and the actions of those on board following allegations made on Channel 9's A Current Affair and The Age that the Simonds family and crew disembarked the yacht in Yamba on August 21, which would have been a breach of the conditions of their exemption.
"The NSW Police Force's Marine Area Command is investigating the movements of the vessel while in NSW waters. This includes inquiries into the activities of the occupants where the vessel may have docked along the NSW coast and whether there are breaches of public health orders," the spokesperson said.
Yesterday Queensland Police confirmed they were also conducting an investigation into the group, but remained tight-lipped about any further details.
"The vessel arrived at Coomera with seven people on board around 9am after having previously travelled from New South Wales and Victoria," Queensland Police said in a statement.
"As the investigation is ongoing, the QPS is unable to provide further details about the matter."
It's understood Mr Simond's wife Cheryl, their youngest son, and Hannah Fox, daughter of Linfox executive chairman Peter Fox, were among others who travelled on-board the 40-metre yacht, which left Melbourne on August 9.
Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.