A criminal investigation has now been launched into a Victorian millionaire who sailed his family to the Gold Coast on a luxury super yacht.
Construction magnate Mark Simonds and six others arrived on the Gold Coast aboard the Lady Pamela on Monday, docking at Coomera.
The yacht had been given an exemption to travel to Queensland but that has since been revoked.
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All seven people on board the yacht were escorted by Police to hotel quarantine on Tuesday night.
Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young says the yacht was originally given an exemption so it could have repairs done on the Gold Coast.
Dr Young says she has given 10 similar exemptions already, but questions were raised yesterday about the legitimacy of the trip involving the Lady Pamela.
“They were only meant to have the people necessary to bring the yacht safely to Queensland and then the plan was, which is why I’ve withdrawn the exemption, the plan was that they had to be on that yacht for 14 days out at sea with no contact with anyone, with no one going on or off the yacht,” Dr Young said.
Dr Young says maritime services inspected the yacht’s logs on arrival on the Gold Coast and raised the alarm.
There were reports that the yacht had stopped several times along the New South Wales coast along the way.
“They checked and these people hadn’t come directly, then public health staff went on board and took specimens from them for COVID testing.
“Also, maritime services notified that they didn’t believe that all of the people on the yacht were crew, so yesterday, given the conflicting information about whether they were crew or not crew, where they had been, I just removed the exemption and required all of them to go into hotel quarantine.”
Dr Young assured Queenslanders there is no risk to the community as none of the people on board disembark in the state prior to being sent to hotel quarantine.
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski says they will work with New South Wales Police and Maritime Safety Queensland as part of their investigation.
“We will be looking at everyone that’s on the boat obviously and the investigation will consider all aspects of what’s occurred and look at the mechanisms that were used to get through into our state.”