Bunnings has described the treatment of its staff members, who were threatened with legal action when asking a woman in Victoria to wear a mask, as “completely unacceptable”.
New video has emerged of a woman in a confrontation with Australia Post staff over the wearing of a face mask in Victoria, believed to be the same person responsible for refusing to wear the protective covering inside a Bunnings store in Melbourne.
The clip appears to show the same woman complaining about the wearing of the mask while being served inside the Australia Post store.
The worker, who is behind the counter, is wearing a mask but does not say anything on the video. It's believed the male employee asked the woman to put on a mask before approaching the service desk.
"I do not need a mask," the woman says. "If you could stamp that, that would be wonderful.
"I suggest you update yourself on what the Department of Human Services have put on with regards to masks and who needs to wear them."
The woman was previously involved in a confrontation with staff at a Bunnings in Melbourne's south east when she was asked if she had a mask yesterday.
Bunnings has described the treatment of its staff members, who were threatened with legal action when asking the woman to wear a mask, as "completely unacceptable".
"You are not authorised to ask me or question me about it," the shopper told the female staff member, who directed her to a manager.
Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire became a mandatory mask zone on Wednesday.
READ MORE: Everything you need to know about new mask rules
The woman was told she would need a medical certificate to be exempt from wearing a mask, while another staff member explained it was a condition of entry into the store.
"You're discriminating against me," she said in footage uploaded online.
The woman threatened to have the workers sued, while claiming being asked to wear a mask was a breach of her human rights.
"It is in breach of the 1948 charter of human rights to discriminate against men and women," she said.
The staff member calmly explained she was not being targeted and that the mask rule applied to everyone.
"I don't care it doesn't apply to me," she said.
"I am going to continue going in here and getting what I need because it is unlawful to do that.
"It is my right as a living woman to do whatever I want."
Bunnings Chief Operating Officer Deb Poole said abuse towards staff attempting to implement well-established processes to protect both staff and customers would not be tolerated.
"The customer's behaviour towards our team was completely unacceptable and we're proud of the way our team calmly and professionally handled the situation," Ms Poole said.
"The vast majority of customers visiting our Melbourne stores are doing the right thing and wearing a mask, which is required under the law and our conditions of entry."
The disgruntled shopper refused to stop filming staff and later also recorded an interaction with police, where she refused to provide her name and address.
"You don't know what you are talking about right now," the woman argued.
"I don't need to give you anything."
She claimed to fear for her life as the interviewing officers were armed with guns before threatening to sue them for $60,000 each.
The woman was later filmed struggling with police and shouting "this is unlawful" as she appeared to be arrested.
In further footage of the interaction with police, a Sergeant explained the woman could be taken into custody for refusing to provide her details when being accused of contravention of legislation to wear a mask.
The Sergeant was later seen telling the woman she was free to go after establishing she had a medical exemption.
Victoria Police refused to comment on the individual case.
"We are aware of a number of videos circulating," a police spokesperson told 9News.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth has likened the Bunnings incident with "intolerable and completely unacceptable" threats made to workers in hospitals.
He said people wearing masks was an important step to Melbourne loosening restrictions and reducing the number of people falling ill with the deadly virus.
"That sort of behaviour has to stop. I acknowledge that wearing a mask can be difficult," Dr Coatsworth said yesterday.
"It may take a while to get used to but in all seriousness, it is just having a mask on."
The top doctor said masks are a "critically important" aspect of the government's public health approach.
"We understand that social distancing and testing is important, but if the icing on the cake is to wear masks and cut that transmission rate down so Victorians can get on that other side of the curve as quickly as possible."
There are four reasons that make Victorians exempt from wearing a mask in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.
Those include going for a run, having a medical issue that makes mask wearing difficult, having a job that is not amenable to mask wearing or if you are a child under 12 years old.
Anyone who does not comply will be hit with a $200 fine unless police are convinced you qualify for one of the exemptions.
This comes as Victoria records its deadliest day and diagnoses 459 new coronavirus cases.
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Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/bunnings-woman-refuses-to-wear-mask-unacceptable-melbourne/deedffdd-9424-4862-87b7-d77bd65799e6