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A man is detained by Victoria Police on August 09, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Protesters face fines and arrest for breaching the Chief Health Officer's directivesDarrian Traynor / Getty Images

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MELBOURNE, Australia, August 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Australia’s second biggest city has given police the power to enter private homes without a warrant or permission to carry out “spot checks,” while churches are closed again as part of a new lockdown regime after politicians declared a “state of disaster” in response to a rise in coronavirus associated deaths and positive test results.

Speaking on August 3, Victoria police chief commissioner Shane Patton was unapologetic as he explained that police had in some instances been smashing car windows due to people inside the cars not cooperating with police or following the newly imposed health guidelines.

“On at least three or four occasions in the past week we’ve had to smash the windows of people in cars and pull them out of there so they could provide their details because they weren’t telling us where they were going, they weren’t adhering to the chief health officer guidelines, they weren’t providing their name and their address,” Patton said.

“This is clearly the biggest job, the biggest commitment that we have at the moment, it’s the most important commitment for Victoria police and that is enforcing the chief health officer guidelines,” Patton began his press conference explaining the police’s role in the new lockdown regime.

The new lockdown rules for the state of Victoria, of which the city of Melbourne is the capital, include:

  • Police may enter private homes, without the permission of the owner and without a warrant to carry out “spot checks”
  • A curfew not allowing people to leave their homes between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., except for “work and essential health, care or safety reasons”
  • During the rest of the day people may only leave their homes to shop for food and essential items, receive or give care, take daily exercise, or to work
  • Churches are closed except for funerals, with a maximum of 10 mourners allowed to attend, with permits required
  • Schools are closed, except for vulnerable children and children of permitted workers
  • Face coverings are mandatory anywhere outside one’s home, even in open spaces when one is alone
  • No one may go to any home other than his or her own, except to give care
    • The state government makes an exception to this rule to “visit your partner” and for those with shared parenting arrangements
  • People may only gather in public with one person from outside their home

A range of fines and penalties are in operation for those who breach the rules, including a $200 on-the-spot fine for “not wearing a face covering, without lawful excuse,” a $1,652 on-the-spot fine for those breaching “stay at home” orders and a nearly $5,000 on-the-spot fine for those who have tested positive for the coronavirus breaching quarantine rules. All such fines can be significantly extended for repeat offenders.

At least one video of police in Victoria taking action against an individual for not wearing a mask has gone viral with millions of views online and several versions of the video removed from various social media platforms (warning: language and violent content).

Writing on his own website in the immediate aftermath of the new rules coming into force, regular Spectator contributor Toby Young explains that the measures were prompted “by 671 new cases of coronavirus” and “seven more deaths” in the days preceding their introduction.

Young suggests that the increase could be due to a corresponding increase in testing.

“Victoria tested almost 43,000 on Sunday, July 26th, twice as many as on normal days, and the peak on Wednesday could be due to the few days delay before the results come through. In addition, a percentage of the positive results are likely due to the extensive contact tracing introduced in the past few weeks, with targeted testing of those who’ve been in contact with other infected people,” Young writes.

“It looks like a familiar pattern: on the advice of public health officials, a political leader ramps up testing and introduces a track-and-trace programme, then, when the number of cases inevitably increases, the leader panics and introduces draconian new measures.”

Father Glen Tattersall, a Catholic parish priest in Melbourne, told LifeSiteNews that the leading state politician in Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews, “is a radical leftist with a love for despotic power.”

Tattersall told LifeSiteNews that, aside from anything else, some of the draconian provisions “simply cannot be justified on a scientific basis.” 

“We have a curfew from 8 pm to 5 am, rigorously enforced including by the use of police helicopters and search lights. Is the virus a vampire that just comes out at night? Or the wearing of masks: they must be worn everywhere outside, even in a park where you are nowhere near any other person. Why? Does the virus leap hundreds of metres through the air? This is all about inducing mass fear, and humiliating the populace by demanding external compliance,” Tattersall said.

“Daniel Andrews is a bad Catholic with a chip on his shoulder against the Church: he supports abortion, same sex marriage, the LGBT agenda, euthanasia (personally introducing this), and has abolished the privilege of the seal of the confession in sexual abuse cases before our criminal courts. He also, while acknowledging the verdict, treated with contempt the Australian High Court’s decision to unanimously acquit Cardinal George Pell, after Pell had been imprisoned for over a year thanks to the Victorian justice system.” 

Tattersall explained that the state of Victoria has had 17 years of Labour Government in the last 21 years and that “radical leftists dominate the Victorian judiciary and civil service because of political appointments.”

Tattersall said that the silver lining of Victoria’s transformation into a police state is that some people are “waking up and turning to God.” 

“Many Victorians are angry, and are calling into question the government’s response to the Wuhan virus,” he said. 

“They realise it is disproportionate, contemptuous of their basic civil rights, and ineffective. I think that when the moment is right an enormous shift in public opinion will be manifested. Also, a number of people have been so shaken out of their comfortable complacency, that their minds and hearts are opening up to the reality of God.”