Warning for border fibbers as Police ramp up checks

Police are warning anyone who attempts to enter Queensland unlawfully will no longer get away with just an on-the-spot fine and are likely to be hauled before a magistrate.

Four people have been ordered to front court for either lying on their border declaration forms or sneaking into Queensland.

A woman was charged over the weekend after claiming to be coming to Queensland for essential work purposes.


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Police later found out that was a lie, before tracking her down to a property in Gympie.

The woman will front court in November.

Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler says people should no longer assume they’ll just get a ticket.

“What that shows is our change in posture, how serious this is when people lie to us on declaration forms, when people try to sneak into the state unlawfully, they won’t just get a fine, they will get a notice to appear and they’ll be put before a court,” Chief Superintendent Wheeler said.

“People shouldn’t think that they’ll simply just get handed a fine to them on the spot, they may be inconvenienced really more by having to go to court.”

Since Friday afternoon, Police have turned away 58 people at Gold Coast border checkpoints.

Another three people were refused entry at Gold Coast Airport.

“Each and every one of those people had either come from a declared hotspot or had been in a declared hotspot in the last 14 days or simply couldn’t provide sufficient evidence that they hadn’t come from a hotspot.”

A total of 919 people have now been refused entry into Queensland at road checkpoints since borders reopened on July 10, while 13 were blocked at the airport.

Police say while there were some lengthy delays at checkpoints on Saturday, they had eased by Sunday and were minimal on Monday.

Chief Superintendent Wheeler has thanked the community, saying their attitude has been great.

“They were incredibly patient and understanding and when you see events unfolding in Victoria at the moment… I think people understand the reason we are doing this is so that we don’t go down that track.”

Read more: Qld authorities remain cautious despite no new coronavirus cases

Police also inspected 111 licensed venues across the Gold Coast over the weekend and say compliance was ‘generally good.’

“Inside those venues we were seeing no evidence of people standing up and drinking and not complying with the rules. We would ask people to continue that.

“Even people who were lining up, generally, were pretty good. Remembering that people who are lining up in an outdoor area, we want them to engage in social distancing but there will be times when that’s simply not possible, but people need to be responsible for their own actions.”

 

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