Queensland will move to imprison anyone caught breaking rules to prevent COVID-19 flare-ups as new cases surge in Victoria.
Terms of up to six months behind bars will be introduced to state parliament on Thursday under a legislative amendment designed to act as a deterrent.
Fines for individuals have not been enough to stop them from testing the public health directions issued by chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young.
Results for a group of 19 people who were tested after attending the Crossroads Hotels in southwestern Sydney have all come back negative for the virus.
The cities of Campbelltown and Liverpool have now been added to Queensland’s list of hotspots, along with Victoria where hundreds of new cases are being confirmed each day.
Queensland Council for Civil Liberties has called on the government to release the draft bill and allow it to be debated publicly before it is presented to the house.
QCLC vice-president Terry Gorman wrote to the health minister on Wednesday requesting the government consult the Queensland Law Society or the Bar Association first.
“The proposed further COVID-19 legislation containing prison terms of up to 6 months represents a significant increase in penalties and in that regard the proposed legislation should have been the subject of public consultation,” he wrote.
“There has been no consultation with this Council and so far as I am aware no consultation with other stakeholders such as the Queensland Law Society or the Bar Association.”