There are questions over whether a secret swingers party could be behind a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases in a Victorian town.
Word of the party, which was held late last month, spread quickly around the town of Colac, which is located about 150km southwest of Melbourne.
Some residents are reportedly furious that this type of gathering, which breaches multiple Covid-19 restrictions, would be held when the area had already experienced an outbreak of the virus, according to the Herald Sun.
Victoria Police said they were made aware of the gathering a few days after it occurred on August 29 at a private residence.
"Police did not attend the address on the day of the gathering, and only became aware of the potential breach of the chief health officer's directions after they were alerted in the days following," a police spokesperson said in a statement.
"Once the reports were received, Victoria Police investigated and two fines for $1652 were issued to the homeowners."
Colac has already been rocked by a significant coronavirus outbreak, with cases quickly rising to almost 100 by the start of August.
The cluster was linked to an outbreak at the Australian Lamb Company abattoir, which forced hundreds of workers and close contacts into isolation.
The town quickly overcame the outbreak, driving infections down to almost zero within weeks of reaching the peak.
But earlier this month Colac was faced with a second wave of infections, with some suspecting the illegal party caused the virus to accelerate through the community.
The second outbreak was flagged after a man became infected with COVID-19 while undergoing treatment at a Melbourne hospital.
He then returned to Colac, not knowing he was infected, and spread the virus to his family.
The virus then spread throughout the community, with many believing the swingers party played a role in the rapid community transmission.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews addressed the rapid outbreak on the September 6, noting by that point one case had turned into 24 infections.
He pointed to the outbreak as the reason restrictions needed to stay in place.
"If anyone listening or watching right now needed any further evidence, and I don't think many people do, because they have been living this, one person, one case, less than a week in one country town, 24 people have got this virus," he said.
"It spreads like fire. And until we put this out, until we contain this properly, we cannot open up.
"Because if we did that we would not be opening up at all, we would simply be beginning a third wave. One that will do even more damage than this pandemic has already done."
The town has managed to drive down cases once again, with five active infections remaining in the Colac Otway Shire.