Police patrol remote Qld borders amid COVID-19 lockdown

Coronavirus border closures in remote Queensland towns

Coronavirus
Police are monitoring borders in remote Queensland to ensure non-residents who aren't exempt from interstate travel do not get through. Photo - QPS media.

Police are monitoring borders in remote Queensland to ensure non-residents who aren't exempt from interstate travel do not get through. Photo - QPS media.

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Border patrols are being conducted in remote Queensland towns in a bid to ensure compliance with strict coronavirus control measures.

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BORDER patrols are being conducted in remote Queensland towns in a bid to ensure compliance with strict coronavirus control measures.

Queensland went into lockdown at midnight on Wednesday, with only essential services including freight, emergency services and medical staff, and returning residents allowed to enter the state.

People who live in another state and enter Queensland for work are among those who can apply for an exemption permit to allow free passage.

The main thoroughfares between Tweed Heads in NSW, and south-east Queensland border town Coolangatta are being heavily policed, with RBT style check points

Remote areas of the southern Queensland with road access to NSW, and the Queensland/Northern Territory border are among the rural areas being monitored.

A Queensland Police spokeswoman said police were conducing a combination of static road closures and roaming patrols in remote or regional areas.

Police are performing high visibility checks and patrols in the Mount Isa district, including Woologorang, Camooweal, Urandangi and Boulia.

On the Darling Downs, Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe, Wallangarra and Killarney are being monitored as are Mungindi, Hebel, Barringun and west of Windorah in the south west district.

State Disaster Coordinator Deputy Commissioner Stephen Gollschewski said local police would be in charge of monitoring the borders in their areas.

"We've asked police right across the border of Queensland, which is a pretty big border, is to look at what is going to work effectively operationally for them on a local level.

"People will understand there are checkpoints right across our borders, right up there into the NT and they are really focused on high volume roads.

"So think about Goondiwindi, the highway out there which is used fairly heavily, so those types of areas people can expect checkpoints.

"What this is about is preventing the spread and transmission of COVID-19, the more we limit the flows of people through our communities the less risk there is.

"We are trying to concentrate on where the greatest flows are and the biggest risk, if we're going to get people crossing the border out in the back and beyond in smaller areas, in small numbers, then that's not a risk to the community.

"The message to people out there is don't travel if you don't have to - stay in your village."

The Northern Territory also closed its borders this week, ahead of Queensland taking action.

The Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association were 50m inside the NT border from Camooweal on Wednesday, monitoring activity.

Project manager Stephanie Frankham said the first cattle truck to be stopped took about four minutes to process.

By Thursday, nearly 20 cattle trucks had been processed in the area.

The NTCA has staff at the NT's borders with South Australia and Western Australia also to help out.

The closures mean anyone who arrives in Queensland from another state or territory must self-isolate for 14 days unless they are an exempt person.

Non-Queensland residents in the exempt category who intend on crossing the border into Queensland can apply for a border pass online at www.qld.gov.au/border-pass, which can be printed at home before travel.

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