Sneaky border tactic to avoid virus checks

 

 

Queensland has erected a 700m "border wall" with NSW in a bid to stop southerners from avoiding police checks.

The "robust barricading" was set up yesterday afternoon around Dixon and Florence St in the Gold Coast suburb of Coolangatta after dozens of people were accused of driving over median strips or around plastic fencing to avoid the usual coronavirus checks.

Police said other locals were parking on one side of Dixon St, which sits in NSW, and simply walking across the road to Queensland.

Dixon St borders Queensland NSW. Picture: Google Maps
Dixon St borders Queensland NSW. Picture: Google Maps

 

Gold Coast police chief superintendent Mark Wheeler said the city's council had set up the barricades after a request from police.

"People were encroaching across the fencing that was there," Mr Wheeler said.

"They were coming into Queensland technically unlawfully, so we strengthened that up.

"We saw a similar situation a couple of months ago in Miles Street.

"I understand people are frustrated but by doing that they're breaking the law.

"But this is our commitment to keeping COVID-19 out of Queensland."

The bright orange barricades, filled with water to stop them being moved, are expected to line the entirety of Dixon St until NSW's community transmission is brought under control again.

Police observe workers setting up barriers in Dixon Street, Coolangatta. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Police observe workers setting up barriers in Dixon Street, Coolangatta. Picture: Nigel Hallett

 

Anyone entering Queensland is required to fill out a border declaration pass that says they haven't been in Victoria or any of NSW's hotspots.

Providing false information or entering the state illegally could result in a huge $4000 fine.

There's been an ongoing debate to move the border checks to the other side of the Tweed River, where the M1 is wider and away from the cities.

"At the moment, you're obviously always going to be constrained by the dimensions and characteristics of the road," Mr Wheeler said.

"What's important to note here, is these roads were never made to set up vehicle or border checkpoints.

"We don't have a border like you see in other countries where it was actually built for that purpose. Irrespective of where you have a checkpoint, it will affect traffic flow.

"The one thing that will not change - there will still be delays. That's unfortunately an iron-clad guarantee.

"We're funnelling tens of thousands of vehicles a day through one lane to visually assess and then filter either to an express lane or to an inspection bay.

"So irrespective of saving time (with the new pass), and we will, there will still be delays."

Council workers arrive with the water barriers. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Council workers arrive with the water barriers. Picture: Nigel Hallett

 

 

Originally published as Sneaky border tactic to avoid virus checks

The Gold Coast City Council set up the barricades at police request. Picture: Nigel Hallett
The Gold Coast City Council set up the barricades at police request. Picture: Nigel Hallett

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