Five people were arrested and one officer injured in the Port Stephens-Hunter Police District during statewide protests against COVID-19 safety measures on Tuesday.
The arrests were made and 12 fines issued outside the Port Stephens Council administration building in Raymond Terrace and Maitland City Council.
An officer received a minor injury at the Raymond Terrace protest - one of three police injured on Tuesday while responding to the 79 unauthorised protests across the state.
NSW Police said in a statement that the officer injured in Raymond Terrace, an inspector, was responding to a protest gathering of about 30 people on Tuesday morning when he approached a 57-year-old man and asked why he was not wearing a face mask.
Police allege the 57-year-old became agitated and was "inciting the crowd to approach police".
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The inspector attempted to arrest the man, who grabbed the officer by the shirt and pushed him backwards.
The 57-year-old was arrested and charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest, among charges related to breaching public health orders.
NSW Police said the inspector did not require hospital treatment.
Police arrested 153 people and issued 573 penalty infringement notices (PIN) across NSW on Tuesday. It came on a day that NSW recorded 1164 fresh COVID-19 cases - one of those from Port Stephens.
NSW Police said many of the people arrested were "released after officers were able to establish their identity to issue a PIN".
PINs were issued for not wearing fitted masked covering in prescribed outdoor gathering ($500), not comply with noticed direction re s7/8/9 - COVID-19 ($1000), and unlawfully participate in outdoor public gathering - stay at home order ($3000).
Arrests and fines in the Hunter Region on Tuesday:
- Hunter Valley PD (Scone Local Council, Singleton Local Council, Cessnock Local Council): 4 arrested and 6 PINs issued
- Port Stephens-Hunter PD (Maitland Local Council, Port Stephens Local Council): 5 arrested and 12 PINs issued
- Newcastle City PD (City of Newcastle Council): 1 arrested and 12 PINs issued
- Lake Macquarie PD (Lake Macquarie City Council): 8 arrested and 11 PINs issued
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