What does it cost to see the bright lights of Wollongong at night from atop one of the city's most popular lookouts?
Normally, absolutely nothing.
But if it's lockdown and you shouldn't be there, then be prepared to pay up.
Mohamud Adbihashi learnt that lesson the hard way yesterday after copping a $400 fine for flouting the state's tough COVID-19 lockdown laws.
The Lakemba local and a mate were found sitting in their car near the Mt Keira lookout in the early hours of August 7 after delivering a car to a client in the area.
The court heard the pair, both of whom hailed from near Bankstown - an active "area of concern" at the time - were seen driving north along Mt Keira Road in a white tray top ute at a speed of about 20km/h.
Highway patrol officers, suspicious of what they saw, began following the vehicle before pulling it over on Queen Elizabeth Drive.
When questioned what they were up to, the pair told officers "[we] just came to that lookout".
Adbihashi confirmed he was aware of the current lockdown laws, however neither man was seen wearing a mask inside the vehicle, despite them being from different households.
Police issued the duo with a fine for breaching the Public Health Act and told them to return to their homes.
However, less than an hour later, police spotted the same car in Cordeaux Road at Kembla Heights.
This time, Adbihashi told police they were "wait[ing] for our friends that drove us down".
The two men were told to expect court attendance notices for failing to comply with the stay-at-home directions.
The officers then escorted the ute back to the M1 to ensure the pair left the area.
Abdihashi chose not to appear in court yesterday, however his lawyer, Upol Amin, entered a plea of guilty on his client's behalf.
Mr Amin asked Magistrate Darryl Pearce to spare Abdihashi a conviction, saying his client's reason for being in Wollongong was legitimate.
"If he had started travelling back to Sydney he might not have received a fine," he said.
"But he stopped at the lookout and that put him in breach [of the law]."
However, Magistrate Pearce refused the request for leniency, saying a conviction was warranted.
With mandatory court costs and levies on top of the fine, Abdihashi will need to fork out nearly $600 - more than his $500 weekly wage.
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