News National Melbourne millionaire who cruised to Queensland has travel exemption revoked

Melbourne millionaire who cruised to Queensland has travel exemption revoked

The Lady Pamela yacht. Photo: Sydney Harbour Exclusive
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Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young has revoked a coronavirus travel exemption for Melbourne multimillionaire Mark Simonds and six other people who cruised from Melbourne to the Gold Coast in a luxury yacht.

It stopped at several locations along the New South Wales coast, which is a coronavirus hotspot, before arriving at a marina at Coomera on the Gold Coast on Monday morning.

Mr Simonds is the executive director of development company Simonds Group and it is understood he was on the yacht with members of his family.

In a statement, Queensland Health said new information had been provided that indicated the owner of the Lady Pamela obtained an exemption approval based on incomplete information.

It said any attempt to bypass or manipulate Queensland’s border directions was unacceptable.

All seven people are now required to pay for 14 days quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

Queensland and NSW police are investigating the matter.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the state’s emergency operations controller, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys, would be looking at the matter.

“There’s one rule for everyone in COVID-19 and I’ve found when individuals think that they’re better then the next person, then people get upset,” he said.

“Whether it is a protest or a person driving a truck or bringing a boat … people are suffering.

“We’re all making some big lifestyle changes and we want everyone to be treated equally in this.”

Superyachts granted exemptions

Speaking at a media conference earlier, Dr Young said Queensland Health had given exemptions to anyone who has been on a sea vessel for 14 days and not visited a hotspot area during that time.

“I do know about a number of superyachts that have come into Queensland,” Dr Young said.

“We’re quite an important place for repairs for a lot for those superyachts – we have a significant industry in that.”

Dr Young said Queensland Health was working closely with Maritime Safety Queensland to ensure sea travellers had not been to coronavirus hotspots or, if they had, they were also required to enter hotel quarantine for 14 days.