UPDATE @ 9.15AM | Local border crossers are being warned that delays will continue for at least the next few days, with a fourth border checkpoint not expected to be up and running until New Years.
Police have confirmed that they’re looking into opening up Dixon Street with another checkpoint, in an attempt to alleviate the three-hour delays through town.
But it all depends on resourcing, which has been stretched thin at this time of year.
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SES support is on its way, while the ADF won’t be returning. It’s also understood Queensland Fire and Emergency Services may be able to help.
While Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler says more police officers will be deployed soon.
“We’re also waiting on a contingent of QPS officers which will be in the order of 38 additional police, and they will roll into the Gold Coast over the coming days and into next week.
“In terms of an exact time frame for opening Miles/Ducat Street, I’m not going to make any promises today, but what I’m hoping is – around New Years we can open that.
“Also at the same time, we’re also really keen to get some access out to Nerang Murwillumbah Road, even on a limited hour basis, to allow those people to come and go.
“So we’re doing everything possible to make that happen,”
He also said that many officers have now given up their Christmas day to help out.
EARLIER @ 6.30AM | Police are expected to reveal when a fourth border checkpoint will come into place, now that resourcing has been slightly boosted.
It’s understood SES support is returning to border duties from today, but the ADF has ruled out a return.
It comes after horrendous delays the last couple of days, with motorists having to wait up to three hours to cross the sole checkpoint through Coolangatta, while wait times on the M1 and the Gold Coast Highway haven’t been much better.
Tweed Councillors are now calling for for the checkpoint through Ducat/Miles Street to be reopened, to ease delays especially around the Christmas time.
“I have been inundated with complaints from Tweed Shire residents regarding the increasing concerns, issues, and inconveniences they are experiencing when crossing the QLD border to go about their essential daily business,” Tweed Councillor James Owen wrote to the Queensland Premier.
“It is causing a wealth of problems, both for businesses and individuals, and is increasing community frustration and anger.
“People are reporting delays of up to two to three hours to complete routine daily tasks, travel to work, and attend appointments, including necessary medical appointments. This is exacerbated for those that must transverse the border several times a day, making it almost untenable for many local small businesses,” his letter reads.
Police have said that they intend to do it, but it all depends on resources which are stretched thin at this time of year.
Queensland’s opposition leader David Crissafulli says the government needs to be doing more.
“I want to see the best system that keeps the state safe, but allows people to go about their business as quickly as they can.
“I don’t think that’s too much to ask, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask for the state to gear up accordingly.
“So we don’t see the time and the pain and the suffering that we’ve seen in recent days,” Mr Crissafulli said.
Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler will provide a border update later this morning, and is expected to reveal when a fourth border checkpoint might come into place.