Queensland’s Police Minister is confident there are enough resources to see us through the further easing of restrictions, as the State Disaster Coordinator admits they don’t need additional pressure on their coronavirus operations.
There are concerns police will be stretched to the limit, when the Australian Defence Force pulls support from our border operations at the end of the month.
It coincides with the further easing of certain border restrictions, meaning more people will be able to come in, and more police will need to be available to facilitate that.
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From today, ACT residents are allowed to come into Queensland, while next week the border bubble will expand to let more people in from northern New South Wales.
Related article: More restrictions to ease around Queensland from today
“Ill be honest, it would be great if the ADF could continue to support Queensland in the way they have been doing, we’ve been grateful for their support,” Police Minister Mark Ryan told myGC.
Meantime, more hotels will be stood up around the state, as Queensland’s quota for international arrivals is doubled.
Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler says at least one more hotel is being stood up on the Gold Coast, in addition to the three already operating as quarantine facilities.
“We’re looking at another hotel on the Gold Coast, we will have external resources to help with securing that hotel.
“Hotels in a quarantine sense are one of our riskiest areas. We’ve seen what’s happened in other states like Victoria where that system has broken down or there’s been an issue with that system, it can lead to catastrophic consequences.
“So we’re really focused on making sure that we’ve got sufficient resources to secure those hotels with our partner agencies,” Superintendent Wheeler said.
More police will continue to be brought in from areas outside of the Gold Coast, with a worry resources are thinning around the state.
Police Minister Mark Ryan is confident that Queensland Police will continue to step up to the task of protecting Queenslanders, with operations ‘recalibrated’ to cope with coronavirus pressures.
“We have put some additional resources on early this year, and we also freed up some extra capacity by delaying some normal activities of policing.
“We would normally have significant amounts of training – annual training happening, and the Commissioner made the decision very early on to delay that training and free up capacity, so that actually freed up hundreds of extra officers that have been put on the front line.
“And we also put on some new graduates that we put on early as well, so this year we put on hundreds of new graduates.
“So while yes, there is obviously an additional workload for police, we have managed to recalibrate the police service and put on extra resources to ensure there is capability there.
“And the good news is that we’ve got more police on the way, so we’ve got more police at the academy right now, and we’re looking forward to them graduating and supporting their colleagues right across the state,” Minister Ryan said.
But State Disaster Coordinator Steve Gollschewski has admitted to the The Today Show this morning, that police aren’t wanting any more pressure on their operations right now.