Covid-19 Victoria: The case of anti-lockdown protester Kerry Cotterill towards well being bosses fails
A woman who was fined for wearing an anti-Daniel Andrews shield during Victoria’s fatal second wave was kicked out of court.
Kerry Cotterill was initially fined for violating home stay orders due to protests in September 2020.
The woman from Cranbourne West, walking within 3 miles of her home, was carrying a sign with a hand drawn picture of Prime Minister Daniel Andrews that read ‘Toot to boot’.
She also wore a mask that read “Ban Dan”.
Camera iconVictorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton was named in the court case. NCA NewsWire / Luis Ascui Photo credit: News Corp Australia
Ms. Cotterill said she was training and demonstrating against the lockdown at the same time. According to the rules then in force, sport was a legal reason to leave the house, protests against it were not.
Police cleared the violation for their protest, and although withdrawn, Ms. Cotterill sued state chief health officer Brett Sutton and assistant public health commandant Finn Romanes in court.
Ms. Cotterill argued that the current home stay instructions were invalid because they violated the implicit freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution.
Camera iconProtester Kerry Cotterill was fined for protesting during the second wave of Victoria. It carried a sign that read “Toot to Boot” and a picture of Prime Minister Daniel Andrews. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Photo credit: News Corp Australia
But on Tuesday, their challenge was thrown by Victoria Supreme Court Justice Richard Niall, who said the restrictions were for “a legitimate purpose.”
He said the arguments were “wrongly aimed” and Ms. Cotterill failed to understand her challenge to the instructions.
The judiciary said the alternative, which would allow people to leave their homes or gather to engage in political communication, would add some uncertainty in the directions.
“They would introduce a level of uncertainty that would be inconsistent with the purpose and intent of these instructions … I am not satisfied that the instructions go too far to be invalid,” said Judge Niall.
A hearing will take place later to determine the costs.