Border control: ‘They are using hundreds of police’
POLICE fear Gold Coast stations will be closed as resources need to be doubled to stop Victorians entering Queensland from July 10.
"They are using hundreds of police now. It will double," a police source said. "Crime is still spiralling out of control. One option is to close every second station to do it."
Both police and MPs tip a full border check of vehicles will blow out commute times from the Tweed to Brisbane beyond two hours.
Senior police staged emergency meetings Wednesday to determine how to introduce changes around the reopening of the border to all other states and territories except Victoria.
"Police have no idea how they are going to do this," a police source said. "It's a response from a bureaucrat. It's just a debacle.
"Police are saying we can stop each car, but the traffic will be from the border to Newcastle."
At least 17 border crossings on the Coast including hinterland roads remain closed.
A Queensland entry pass is currently required with drivers displaying the certificate on the windscreen of their vehicles.
But police sources suggest it will be impossible to stop Victorians entering the state unless officers check the papers of commuters which confirm they are not from or have recently visited the southern state.
They fear some visitors will falsify the information on their forms despite fines of up $4000.
Police Minister Mark Ryan was approached for comment but his office said that because it was an operational matter clarification should be sought from the Queensland Police Service.
A police spokesman said the QPS was working through arrangements to facilitate upcoming changes to border restrictions in Queensland.
"Police will implement revised processes at border checkpoints to enable a more seamless crossing for those travelling from states other than Victoria," the police spokesman said. "More details regarding the upcoming changes to border restrictions and police processing will be made available in due course."
Currumbin LNP MP Laura Gerber welcomed the border opening but said police, businesses and commuters had spoken to her about their concerns on the operation of the future screening system.
"Ordinarily, it can take an hour and 20 minutes if it is a good run. At the moment the traffic around the border will take two hours (to get to Brisbane)," Ms Gerber said.
"It will be even more because the tourists are coming. We want our businesses to benefit with this. I've had discussions with police. At least they've got a bit of time (to get it sorted)."
Ms Gerber said it was devastating for her border community if the blockade continued.
"It appears that interstate travellers will be required to demonstrate they have completed a border declaration and I am really concerned that operationally the Queensland Police Service may continue to man the borders to patrol this.
"The QPS are unable to give me any certainty yet around whether hard closures, like
Tomewin Mountain Road, will actually be open because operationally the QPS need to be able
to patrol interstate access and travellers' border declarations."
Originally published as Border control: 'They are using hundreds of police'