Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott responds after NSW Police fine him

Police have fined former Prime Minister Tony Abbott $500, after a member of the public photographed him without a mask while out in the Sydney suburb of Manly.
NSW Police said they "will allege the man did not wear a face mask while in public at Fairy Bower, Manly Beach" on the morning of Wednesday, September 8.

Mr Abbott said he believes he acted within the law, but he won't be contesting the fine.

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FILE - 26 AUGUST 2020: Ex Australian PM Tony Abbott has been hired by British PM Boris Johnson to become President of the UK's Board of Trade. He will hold the title jointly with UK Trade Secretary Liz Truss. CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Tony Abbott makes his final statement to the media as Prime Minister at Parliament House on September 15, 2015 in Canberra, Australia. Tony Abbott lost the Liberal leadership ballot last night, defeated by Malcolm Turnbull 54-44. Malcolm Turnbull will no

"I believe that I was well within the law, reasonably interpreted," Mr Abbott said.

"But I'm not going to challenge the fine because I don't want to waste the police's time any further.

"I never thought that dobbing and snitching was part of the Australian character and I think that the sooner we can leave this health police state mindset behind us, the better for everyone," Mr Abbott said.

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New South Wales health minister Brad Hazzard was asked to comment on the incident at today's coronavirus press conference.

"I am not going to talk about individual cases," Mr Hazzard said.

"It does not matter who you are, whatever station you have in life, there are orders, nobody likes to have these orders but it is to keep everybody safe.

"I hope people will comply with the orders."

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