The Informer: Coronavirus curfew turns in COVID court challenge

Coronavirus curfew morphs in COVID court challenge

For months we've all worked at keeping COVID out of public offices but there'll be no stopping it in Victoria next week.

A number of court cases, revolving around decisions and behavior during COVID-19, land in the courts next week.

In one instance, the son of a Victorian COVID-19 victim is suing security companies involved in the state's botched hotel quarantine program.

Dragan Markovic is leading a class action after his father, Nenad, died from coronavirus on August 30. He is suing for psychiatric loss and injury.

"I'm just looking for justice," he told 3AW. "I think the government is very responsible (for the second wave)."

A writ filed in Victoria's Supreme Court alleged United Security and MSS Security breached their duty of care by failing to train guards properly or put in place effective infection control measures.

Another two class actions have also been filed over Victoria's COVID-19 restrictions, including one by an aspiring Liberal MP.

Michelle Loielo, a restaurant owner who is an active member of the Liberal Party, argued the curfew was unreasonable, disproportionate and violates the human rights of millions of Victorians.

Supreme Court Justice Tim Ginnane has set a two-day trial beginning next Monday to determine the case brought against Associate Professor Michelle Giles. She is the deputy public health commander and signs off on emergency powers issued by Chief Health officer Brett Sutton.

In NSW, rent relief measures put in place to help tenants and landlords suffering financial hardship because of COVID-19 will be extended a further six months.

And if they so desire, people from NSW can cross the border into South Australia from midnight Wednesday. No news from the Queenslanders, yet though.

Meanwhile, on the west coast of Tasmania they're dealing with something all together different - the biggest mass stranding of whales the island state has endured.

Originally it was thought 270 pilot whales were involved but a newly discovered group, about 10km away, were found today. Sadly most are believed to have died already.

Rescuers hope to escort more whales out to sea before the researchers begin the task of making some sense of the event.

"Pilot whales are incredibly social and are known to hang out in large groups, so to hear of a large pod like this, I'm not surprised," Dr Vanessa Pirotta, of Macquarie University, said. "With them being very social and trusting of where individuals are leading them, that can result in them stranding."

Tasmania's previous biggest stranding was in 1935 with 294 pilot whales. Its last mass stranding was in 2009 and involved about 200 pilot whales.

More than 80 per cent of Australian whale strandings take place in Tasmania.

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