What Is Happening in Australia?

The world should pay very close attention to what is happening in Australia and their Machiavellian zero-tolerance policies.

January 3, 2022

By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP

australia We’re rounding the corner to the second year of frenzy over COVID-19. The two camps of fear and skepticism still exist, but there is also a growing group of people who are just fed up. They are tired of the lock-downs and masks. They were promised a normal life if they just went along with all the earlier policies, and they are still expected to jump through hoops despite their compliance.

It’s difficult to say where the world’s politicians will take this in 2022.

On the one hand, we’re seeing headlines talking about how the flu is making a comeback after taking a little time off. In the United States, flu hardly showed up:

  • October 2019 – April 2020: 24,000 – 64,000 flu deaths

  • October 2020 – April 2021: 646 flu deaths

This suggests some gesture toward going back to “normal”. Who knew the return of the flu would indicate a healing world?

On the other hand, there are jurisdictions around the world freaking out still over each variant. New Zealand has a “Zero COVID” approach, where lock-downs and curfews were implemented as the main measure against the virus. In an effort to move away from those measures, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern posits the following:

The new COVID-19 Protection Framework sets a pathway forward that rewards the rapidly growing number of vaccinated New Zealanders with more freedoms to go about their lives safely.”

She goes on to explain how her Red-Orange-Green policies should incentivize people to get vaccinated who want to go to a bar, restaurant, gym or to attend gatherings. Leveraging the basic freedoms of private citizens as a dangled carrot to those still ambivalent toward the vaccine.

Australia is another country with jurisdictions that still practice lock-downs and curfews. Those who violate them, are heavily fined. In some cases they are placed into quarantine camps. Sydney spent nearly one third of 2021 in lock=down. 107 days from June 27th to October 11th, where people needed to prove their vaccination status and have permits to even enter rural areas:

State police will fine up to A$5,000 ($3,700) anyone breaching stay-at-home orders or for lying to contract-tracing officials, said state Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Previously breaching quarantine orders had carried a A$1,000 fine.

If you so much as misrepresented your COVID test status, you are subject to a fine. A woman by the name of Haley Hodgson lost her job and spent two weeks at Howard Springs, a very elaborate “quarantine camp” under strict lock-down orders.

Ironically, she left Melbourne for Darwin because the latter was supposedly more relaxed.

She could not leave her room to even go for a walk outside. She was tested three times, and never tested positive for COVID in the two weeks she was there. So despite her negative tests, she was still ordered to stay there the full two weeks.

The CDC would tell her she was likely sent there as punishment for lying about being tested for COVID when she in fact was not tested. Without trial or even formal charges, she was taken away and put in a camp for two weeks.

These fines are so onerous, people are not paying them. In Queensland, they have a task force called SPER (State Penalty Enforcement Registry), charged with collecting these fines and fees.

Queensland Treasury established SPER about two decades ago and, by this month, it had $1.29 billion in debt on its books and was recovering more than $50 million each month.”

Right now they are responsible for collecting $5.2 million AUD in unpaid fines from just over three thousand people, as well as $5.7 million AUD in quarantine costs imposed on travelers who were hit with that upon arrival.

“SPER said enforcement for people who failed to pay their fines ‘may include garnishing bank accounts or wages, registering charges over property, or suspending driver licenses‘.”

As for the travelers who were placed into quarantine hotels they never booked, a private debt collection company was hired to bring that $5.7 million from the 2,045 who collectively owe this sum.

The actual headline reads:

Thousands of Australians with unpaid fines for breaking COVID rules have their homes seized, bank accounts raided and licenses canceled as government chases $5.2million

The government is a two trick pony: tax it or criminalize it. They both stand to bring in revenue. The latter, however, with the right finesse can build whole political careers.

The Australian governments are interning people without due process. They are not formally charged with anything, only suspected. They are detained for two weeks for not being truthful about a COVID test.

The question is, how do you protect at least some of your assets from a horrible fate like this? This is Australia’s iteration of civil asset forfeiture.

You can’t hide everything, but you can create distance between your identity and your assets. While authorities could still request the status of your tests or vaccines, and even trace them as they did with Haley Hodgson, you don’t need to lose your home or have all your accounts drained.

Australia is just one country with a handful of jurisdictions doing this. Whether it’s governments seeking onerous fines or litigious individuals looking for an easy target, controlling your assets without owning them is your best bet to keeping them.

Click here to schedule a consultation on how you can protect your assets from overreaching governments, or here to become a member of our Insider program where you are eligible for free consultations, deep discounts on corporate and trust services, plus a wealth of information on internationalizing your business, wealth and life.

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