COVID breach: Sydney tradies on Collins St job caught staying in Kiama

Police say workers went running when police visited this Collins St construction site yesterday. Picture: Sylvia Liber
Police say workers went running when police visited this Collins St construction site yesterday. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Police have fined five Sydney-siders who have allegedly been staying in Kiama on the NSW South Coast while they work on a construction project, in breach of public health orders.

Lake Illawarra Police District officers received a tip-off on Monday about workers allegedly from Sydney, staying in Kiama.

Police attended an address on North Kiama Drive about 7.30pm and spoke with the occupants, who were part of a construction team that is building a unit complex on Collins Street, Kiama.

About 11am Tuesday police attended the worksite and saw a number of employees run into a nearby carpark.

Police found 33 workers and spoke to the project manager.

Five of the men were identified as being from Local Government Areas of concern in Sydney.

Three of the men are from the Bayside area, south of Sydney, and two are from Fairfield in western Sydney.

The men were fined $1000 each.

Inquiries are continuing into further potential breaches.

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The Mercury has learned police acted after they were tipped off by Kiama MP Gareth Ward, who was contacted by a local business owner who became concerned the men had taken up in an area AirBNB.

"I'm advised that one of the [workers] gave misleading details [to police] in relation to where they actually lived. Upon further investigation, police decided to attend the Collins St site," Mr Ward said.

Police say workers fled when officers visited the site on Tuesday. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Police say workers fled when officers visited the site on Tuesday. Picture: Sylvia Liber

"I'm advised a number of construction workers fled the scene, which was probably a good indication that something was up. You could say they split faster than a St George Illawarra Dragon.

"Police have advised me that some of these people may have come from the 12 LGAs of concern. I don't want COVID in my community and this is just a total disregard of the law that has been made now abundantly clear, and I look forward to police pursuing this matter to the full."

The fines come after police set up checkpoints on the Princes Highway at Bombo on Friday, seeking out Greater Sydney residents who were heading south into regional NSW, in breach of public health orders.

This story Police catch Sydney tradies staying in regional NSW Airbnb first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.