Police first line of defence under threat

Police first line of defence under threat

Victorians trying to sidestep border controls could bring a second COVID wave to Queensland.

Since the Queensland border reopened at midday on Friday, July 10, 17,000 vehicles made their way into Queensland and another 850 were turned around, Queensland Police have revealed.

Of those, 307 were from Victoria or had recently travelled to Victoria and were directed to quarantine, including six young people who twice attempted to enter the state illegally.

All six made false border declarations on the Gold Coast at the weekend. They were initially intercepted in their minibus at the M1 border control check point on Saturday night. They were again intercepted on Sunday in Coolangatta at 2pm.

The 19-year-old male driver, along with two 19-year-old women, and three other men aged 18, 23, and 28 were all fined $4003 and ordered to return home.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said today the level of compliance was very concerning to the Queensland Police Service.

“We see our borders as the first line of defence,” he said.

“But, given the sorts of numbers that are coming into our state there is no 100 per cent guarantee we will be able to check everyone as we should.

“It’s really important that everyone continues to maintain social distancing and hygiene are paramount in this state, and indeed the country.”

Since July 3, 486,000 border pass applications have been lodged.

“I’m pleased to say it’s going as well as we’d hoped,” Mr Gollschewski said.

“Whilst there are delays and we recognise that’s inconvenient for a lot of people the message remains for anyone looking to come into Queensland to plan ahead.

“Be patient, make sure you have your border declaration pass ready when you arrive – make sure it is filled out properly.

“Everyone crossing the border needs one, including returning Queensland residents.”