DELAYS EXPECTED: Queensland police enforcing the QLD state border closer due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and checking drivers as they cross from NSW to QLD at Gold Coast Highway at Bilinga. Picture: Jerad Williams
DELAYS EXPECTED: Queensland police enforcing the QLD state border closer due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and checking drivers as they cross from NSW to QLD at Gold Coast Highway at Bilinga. Picture: Jerad Williams

Trucks waved through at Queensland border backlog

THE Queensland Trucking Association has called for patience from truckies as Day One of the new state border controls come into effect.

QTA chief executive Gary Mahon said he has confirmed with police that all freight vehicles will be waved through without any scrutiny.

But he said backlogs are inevitable in the early stages as motorists get used to the restrictions, especially at the Queensland/New South Wales border at Tweed Heads/Coolangatta.

“While police will endeavour to separate vehicles by type, there may be some residual delay,” he warned.

“We are taking a practical approach to this and all agencies will be monitoring to see if any adjustments are needed as things progress.”

The M1, Gold Coast Highway and Griffith St remain open but with RBT-style police checkpoints in place. The lockdown could continue for months.

All other roads between the states, including Coolangatta backstreets, are now closed.

A join Queensland Government and industry taskforce to ensure the supply of food and other essential goods for Queensland during COVID-19 met yesterday.

Chaired by Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick, the Essential Goods Supply Committee brought together senior government and industry executives to provide more information to industry, business and workers about the border closure declaration that came into effect at midnight.

The committee was convened two weeks ago as part of the Queensland Government’s response to COVID-19 to ensure food and other supply chains keep flowing into Queensland during this emergency event.

Mr Dick said the Queensland Government understands the pressure on industry and business, especially freight companies, stemming from this crisis.

“We’re committed to working with industry on practical and pragmatic approaches and solutions to keep supply chains moving,” Mr Dick said.

“Yesterday’s meeting included a briefing from Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young and Director-General of the Department of Transport and Main Roads Neil Scales.

“Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner also joined the committee and will work with closely with me on supply chain issues.

“Our government is listening and quickly responding to the needs of industry to keep Queenslanders working and manage workplace risks.

“During yesterday’s meeting we discussed critical issues including border controls, keeping workplaces healthy and safe and managing industry concerns regarding traveling across Queensland’s borders, so we can keep our communities healthy,” he said.

“With the aim of limiting the spread of COVID-19, Queensland Transport is working closely with Queensland Police and RACQ to manage the necessary border checkpoints.”

Mr Dick urged those needing to travel across the border to be patient as there may be some delays as part of the settling in period.

“We don’t want to prevent trade and commerce, however, we are minimising the risks for Queensland industry, business and communities,” Mr Dick said.

“We are aware some businesses are concerned about what to do should they discover they may have had a transmission in the workplace. If this occurs contact their local public health service or phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) at any time.

“It’s important for everybody to understand that none of us – and no workplace – has immunity to this very virulent disease. Anyone feeling sick should not be going to work, so our workplaces and workmates can stay healthy.

“We want to keep Queenslanders healthy and working for as long as possible, especially in businesses that are providing essential items.”

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