The first Dubbo business has been slapped with a $5000 fine for breaching the COVID-19 health and safety rules, but police are warning it may not be the last.
Just after 1am on Sunday, Orana Mid-Western Police District officers were called to a licensed premises due to an altercation.
District commander Superintendent Peter McKenna said after reviewing the CCTV footage, police will allege there were more than 30 people in the poker room who were not maintaining social distancing.
On Wednesday morning, the licensed premises was issued with the $5000 fine for failing to comply with the requirements of the Public Health Order - COVID-19.
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"Our commissioner has come out and said no longer is it time for warnings about this, this is too serious an issue. The community has to take it seriously and we have to take it seriously," Superintendent McKenna said.
"This is the first fine we've given to a business, but if people don't take heed of the warnings, it won't be the last."
Superintendent McKenna said the police worked every day with licensed premises in Dubbo and while they tried to be reasonable, non-compliance would not be tolerated.
"It's up to the individuals to do the right thing themselves. if there's a blatant flouting of rules and people think that is a danger to the community then certainly they can call the police and we will investigate," he said.
The maximum penalty for contravening a Public Health Order is a fine of up to $11,000 and/or six months imprisonment.
Superintendent McKenna said action had been taken on Sunday's assaults and violent behaviour.
"We've got no problem with people going out to a licensed premises, relaxing and having drinks if that's what they want to do, but you've got to do it in moderation, you've got to do it to a position where you stay in control," the district commander said.
"Likewise, licensed premises have the responsibility to serve alcohol responsibility and make sure they're not tipping people out on the street who are full of alcohol and are likely to be violent or behave anti-socially."