People entering Queensland will need to get a border pass
COMMUTE times for workers between the Queensland-NSW border and Brisbane are tipped to blow out to more than two hours as police scramble to work out how to conduct blockades.
A Queensland entry pass is currently required with drivers displaying the certificate on the windscreen of their vehicles.
Senior police this week staged emergency meetings to determine how to introduce changes on a ground level which will see the border open to all other states and territories except Victoria on July 10.
A police source told The Bulletin: "Police have no idea how they are going to do this. 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."
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.
"They have to complete a form which says they haven't been in Victoria in the past two weeks. The virus manifests itself in three to four weeks. Police are asking how is two weeks going to solve anything. Police are being abused at the border now. They fear it will get worse," the police source said.
A police spokesman said the Queensland Police Service 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. More details regarding the upcoming changes to border restrictions and police processing will be made available in due course," the police spokesman said.
Currumbin LNP MP Laura Gerber welcomes the border opening but has confirmed police along with businesses and commuters have 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 told The Bulletin.
"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," she said.
"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."
Mrs Gerber said the continued monitored crossings would have detrimental effects on her
"If the border blockade continues so that border declarations can be patrolled this will be another crushing blow for my community and businesses as commute times and traffic, as a result of the border, blow out," she said.
"Commute times will explode because of increased traffic at the border and the continued
checking of documents.
"For local businesses this will mean fewer customers as locals continue to avoid the border
because they do not want to be stuck in traffic.
"The Premier thinks it's good politics to keep people scared by maintaining the pretence of a
border lockdown with the continued blockade.
"If it is safe to have our borders open, the borders need to open in every sense of the word."
Originally published as 'Traffic queues from the Gold Coast border to Newcastle'