Coronavirus: Sydney law firm ‘trolled’ after advising Melburnians to defy mask order
A Sydney law firm that urged Victorians to defy a mandatory mask order has been trolled and forced to beg for positive Google reviews.
By Rohan Smith
A Sydney law firm has begged its followers for positive reviews on Facebook and Google after claims it was “trolled” for urging Victorians to defy the Government’s new mandatory mask laws.
G&B Lawyers, which has offices in Sydney and Wollongong, wrote on Facebook that Victorians in the metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire areas should not wear masks — and if fined $200 they should fight the fines in court.
“Free legal advice to all Victorians,” the firm wrote on Facebook on Sunday afternoon.
“Don’t wear a mask. Get a $200 fine then elect to have it determined in Court. Every single one of you 6.359 million Victorians can challenge the fines in Court. The Victorian Government won’t fight you in Court. It is far too expensive for them to do so.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Sunday morning that mask-wearing will be enforced for all those in stage three lockdown areas from midnight on Wednesday. Those who defy the order could be fined.
G&B lawyers has a one-star rating on Google and Sunday’s Facebook post may have encouraged some to leave negative reviews.
One review, seen by news.com.au, reads: “They can fight your mask fine. Then they can help you dispute your medical fees from being in intensive care unnecessarily. Then they can defend you when you’re sued for infecting someone else. Then they can help you with your will so the rest of your family get your $$$ after you die of Covid-19.”
Hours after encouraging Victorians to defy the mask order, G&B Lawyers wrote: “Do us a favour and give us a decent review on Facebook and Google. Too many trolls dragging us down.”
News.com.au has reached out to G&B Lawyers for comment.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement that masks will be mandatory from Thursday at a press conference on Sunday morning.
The Premier announced three more people have died from coronavirus in Victoria overnight, and an additional 363 new infections have been reported in the past 24 hours – taking the state’s total case tally to 5696.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the advice had changed after it was earlier believed wearing masks was not necessary. He said children under 12 are exempt.
“That is in recognition that it’s likely to work for all of those age groups. Below the age of 12, it’s a consideration. We say not for toddlers. So not for two years and below,” he said.
“It’s a consideration for all other children. But it is mandatory, really, from that high school age onwards.”
Exemptions will be given to people who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, and when engaged in an activity where it is “entirely impractical” to wear a mask, it’s also not a requirement, Prof Sutton said.