Bath and Blackwood amongst Coalition MPs fined for not wearing masks

Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath (centre) photographed with AFL legend Kevin Sheedy and shadow treasurer David Davis without masks inside parliament last week. photograph supplied

Michelle Slater

Two Gippsland state Coalition MPs were among five Nationals and Liberals who were fined for breaching the state’s mask rules while inside Parliament House last week.

The group included Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath, Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood, Liberal Opposition leader Matthew Guy, Nationals leader Peter Walsh and shadow treasurer David Davis.

The MPs were photographed without masks while attending an address at parliament being delivered by AFL great Kevin Sheedy.

Victoria police issued the group fines of $100 each for breaking mask rules.

“At all times the Victorian Nationals and Liberals cooperated with Victoria Police in relation to this matter and accordingly the fines will be paid promptly,” Ms Bath told the Express.

“I will continue to advocate for sensible restrictions that includes the removal of face mask mandates in low-risk settings and the scraping of unnecessary QR Codes, so we can begin to recover, rebuild and move forward.”

Mr Blackwood said “rules are rules, even if we don’t agree with them”.

“Happy to pay the fine with my own money and not use taxpayers’ as Labor did with their Red Shirts rorts,” Mr Blackwood said.

Masks are still required to be worn inside indoor workplaces including parliament, but can be removed for eating or drinking, or rising to speak in the chamber.

It is understood some of the MPs were drinking coffee at the time, but removed the masks for a photo with the footy legend.

Mr Guy told the media last week that mask rules were too confusing and should no longer be required in low-risk indoor settings.