French man deported over illegal NYE rave

A French national has been booted out of Australia for his involvement in an illegal New Year’s Eve rave in Queensland.

The 29-year-old man, who was in the country on a working holiday visa, was deported for his role in the illegal event, which reportedly attracted more than 1,000 people to the Gallangowan State Forest over three days.

Under the Migration Act 1958, if a visa holder is a risk to the health, safety or good order of the Australian community, their visa can be liable for cancellation and they may be removed from Australia by the Australian Border Force (ABF).

A spokesperson for HQPlantations told ABC News the party was one of many held on its land over the years.

They said there had been an increase in noise complaints, hooning, illegal campfires, unburied faeces, litter, and disoriented people.

“Sometimes they cut down our trees to create a bigger area or seating, they erect stages, leave waste behind, and even go to the toilet on the plantation,” the spokesperson said.

The party was held from 31 December to 2 January, a week before Brisbane was placed into lockdown.

Acting commander for ABF enforcement Steven Darby said the man’s deportation, which occurred on 19 January 2021, highlighted how seriously it was taking threats posed to the Australian community by those intentionally breaching COVID-19 restrictions.

“The ABF will not tolerate non-citizens who choose to engage in criminal activity or behaviour of concern, particularly with respect to COVID-19 restrictions which can have a devastating flow-on effect for our community,” he said.

“We hope this sends a strong message to others who think they can arrange or participate in reckless activities of this kind.

“The ABF will continue to collaborate with state, territory and Commonwealth partner agencies on these matters, and will act decisively to protect the community from the risk of harm posed by non-citizens breaching COVID-19 restrictions.”

In May 2020, Operation Baritone was established by the ABF to support state, territory and Commonwealth partner agencies in ensuring non-citizens are complying with government regulations on mandatory quarantine, self-isolation and social distancing in order to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

As a result of this operation, there have been 24 field enforcement activities, 335 warnings issued, 15 notices of intention to consider visa cancellation, and eight cancelled visas.