Queensland’s border with NSW will be bolstered by 15 additional police officers as defence force troops withdraw from checkpoint controls.
Australian Defence Force support will stop on Wednesday, just one day before the travel bubble extends into northern NSW and two days out from a long weekend.
But Gold Coast police chief superintendent Mark Wheeler said on Tuesday the Queensland Police Service was prepared.
Gold Coast police superintendent Mark Wheeler said additional resources had been deployed to help pick up the shortfall. Picture: Scott Powick/ NewscorpSource:News Corp Australia
“Initially we’ll have an additional 15 police coming down that we’ll spread across a number of our checkpoints,” he said.
“We monitor it on an hourly basis and if we need to move police across to a busier one we will.”
The reassurance comes less than a week after a war of words erupted between Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles and federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg over ADF support.
The spat escalated to the point that Mr Frydenberg labelled the Labor minister as a ‘stumbling, bumbling lightweight’ on breakfast television.
Mr Wheeler urged drivers to be patient at the border checkpoints, promising them officers would get them through as fast as possible.
“We now have a larger cohort of people, a larger group of people who are eligible to enter the state,” he said.
“We also have over five million Queenslanders who can now go into NSW and return, so that’s going to mean more traffic.”
Delays similar to those experienced when borders reopened in July, are expected again this weekend. Picture: Jessica LambSource:News Regional Media
Mr Wheeler said travellers could reduce waiting times by updating their border passes and displaying them on their vehicles.
He also warned would-be border jumpers against trying different means to get into the sunshine state illegally.
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Mr Wheeler said police had observed everything from false declarations to people putting their cars on tow trucks and then trying to walk in.
“Most of those people, they’ve done it blatantly and they’ve had disregard to the chief health officer’s directions,” he said.
Of the 54,000 vehicles processed at the border since August 8, about 4400 people have been turned around.
Pedestrians and people in cars will continue to be checked by police. Picture: Scott Powick/ NewscorpSource:News Corp Australia
Meanwhile, a fourth Gold Coast hotel has become a quarantine facility for returned travellers, as the number of weekly arrivals into Queensland increases from 500 to 1000 from Sunday.
Mr Wheeler said police from outside of the glitter strip region would ensure rules were being adhered to.
“A failure in our hotel quarantine process would be catastrophic in our community,” he said.
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