Brisbane Times: Queensland Police Union calls for more support on border control

The Queensland Police Union is calling for assistance to monitor border checkpoints as an influx of people flows into the state.

Queensland opened its border to NSW with the exception of 32 Greater Sydney areas on Tuesday and anyone who has visited those areas in the past two weeks. Victoria remains a hotspot.

QPU president Ian Leavers told ABC Brisbane it would be helpful to have the Australian Defence Force personnel return to help with the border restrictions as they did in the past.

“A lot of people are going to want to enter Queensland and we want to be able to process them quickly and safely, and it is really important to keep Queensland COVID-19 free,” he said.

Mr Leavers said the ADF did a great job in the past in assisting, and relieving more resources for elsewhere.

“We certainly worked very well with the ADF and I think it would certainly be beneficial to help us because we can do other things but if not, we’re just going to continue to work extra long hours to do the job that we have to do to keep Queenslanders safe,” he said.

“Police are doing a great job. The ADF was taken away by the Prime Minister playing politics – let’s call this for what it is.”

Earlier this week, Gold Coast District Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said there were delays of up to 50 minutes on the M1, but “overall, we’re happy with the way traffic is flowing”.

“The true test now will be over the coming days and weeks, when we do expect to see more people wanting to travel into Queensland.”

Superintendent Wheeler said about 90,000 vehicles had been intercepted since August 8. Of those, 6000 people were turned around.

Those coming into Queensland still need to go online to the border pass declaration site and apply for a G pass, which will be valid for 14 days instead of seven. X passes are still valid and recognised.

The border restrictions are set to be reviewed by a newly re-elected Annastacia Palaszczuk at the end of the month, with any further changes not likely until December 1 at the earliest.

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