“Those people were directed into self-funded quarantine in a government-mandated hotel, so it has been a very expensive journey for those people.
“I think it serves as a warning that if you are going to come into Queensland from a hotspot and try to game the system, even if you think you have got through, you should not rest easy because police will follow up any information we receive.
“And what I would say to people who are sitting in long lines of traffic and wondering why we don’t have an extra couple of police to stand-up another checkpoint to help you get through quicker.
“It’s because we have to deal with and investigate people who are putting our community at risk and lying deliberately on their border declaration passes.”
Police will open a fourth checkpoint on the NSW border on New Year’s Eve to help ease delays at the interstate crossing, which stretched to 90 minutes on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Chief Superintendent Wheeler said the new border checkpoint would open at Miles Street in Coolangatta at 7am on December 31.
“What it will do is relieve some of the pressure around Coolangatta and Tweed local road networks … it will ease congestion, particularly around Wharf Street,” he said.
Chief Superintendent Wheeler said more than 543,000 border declaration passes has already been issued to travellers wanting to cross the interstate border.
“Since we’ve been operating just over a week, we’ve had to turn around 300 vehicles containing over 700 people. In and amongst that, we have had to issue 10 infringement notices for $4003 predominantly for people who have provided false information,” he said.
An extra 38 police officers have been called in, along with 30 extra State Emergency Service personnel, to help at the Gold Coast border checkpoints and ease those delays.
The federal government rejected a request for Australian Defence Force help at border checkpoints after the barricades returned in response to a COVID-19 outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Queensland recorded two new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, but both patients acquired the virus overseas and tested positive in hotel quarantine.
There were 2413 COVID-19 tests conducted during the past 24-hour period and there are 11 active cases across the state.
Toby Crockford is a breaking news reporter at the Brisbane Times