Be an upstander, not a bystander

Be an upstander, not a bystander

Report all breaches of social/physical distancing

Posted on 31.03.2020

Be an upstander, not a bystander – report all breaches of social/physical distancing

QORF and Nature Play QLD call on all people in our communities to report others who do not follow the social/physical distancing directives in outdoor places.

If you saw another member of the public starting a fire in a public space, you would report it. If you see people doing the wrong thing regarding social/physical distancing in Queensland outdoor spaces (eg large gatherings of people in parks), report that by ringing 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

Governments across the world have recognised that outdoor exercise as critically important for people alongside work/education, access to food and medical services/compassionate visits.

Currently, there are only four reasons stated by the Australian government for people to leave their homes:

  • Going to work/education (if unable to do so at home)
  • Shopping for essential supplies such as groceries – returning home without delay
  • Going outside for personal exercise in the neighbourhood, on your own or with one other
  • Attending medical appointments or compassionate visits

The message regarding outdoor activities is clear – people should only be going outside their homes for personal exercise in local neighbourhoods in household groups, on their own or with one other person from another household. Everyone must practice good physical/social distancing and hygiene.

We are confident that the majority of people in Queensland who are exercising outdoors are complying with the Public Health Directions. However, there is a minority of people who are not complying, whether through ignorance, complacency, wilful rebellion, or perhaps a combination of these factors. That non-compliant behaviour is placing the ability of all of us to exercise outdoors at risk.

If people continue to ignore the directions of authorities regarding this, the exception regarding outdoor activities may be revoked.

It is no exaggeration to say that all outdoor places and spaces could be closed to everyone due to poor behaviour by some. Public swimming pools, playgrounds and skate bowls are already closed, among other places.

We are calling on all people in the QORF and Nature Play QLD networks to comply with government directives regarding outdoor activities. You are wrong if you think these directives do not apply to you because you have more experience than the general public or you have specific ways to ensure that a group of more than two people is safe in the outdoors. If you breach the directives, you put the community at risk, you put outdoor activities at risk, and you are breaking the law!

We call on each of you to not only comply, but also actively stand up for outdoor activities by reporting breaches. Our communities need up-standers, not by-standers. If we don’t stand up, then we may not be able to go outside.

If you observe non-compliance with the Public Health Directions, report it to the appropriate authorities.

If you saw someone starting a fire, you would not hesitate to report it. If you see people doing the wrong thing in Queensland outdoor spaces (eg large gatherings of people in parks), report that by ringing 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84). The 13HEALTH service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. 13HEALTH will then take the appropriate action, which may include police response.

If you haven’t already, save the 13HEALTH number (13 43 25 84) in your phone.

Thank you

Dom Courtney




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