Queensland police question motorists at a roadblock on the Gold Coast Highway.
Queensland police question motorists at a roadblock on the Gold Coast Highway. Scott Powick

LOCKDOWN: Major delays as crossing closes for 'months'

THE Queensland border closed just after midnight on Thursday after roadblocks were setup and police directed motorists to stop.

>>> MORE DETAILS: All the border closure rules explained

Most cars with Queensland plates were waved through and trucks continued their journey north on the M1.

The three entry points into Queensland are the M1 near the Stewart Rd off-ramp, the Gold Coast Highway just before the Gold Coast Airport and Griffith St, Coolangatta.

Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler warned motorists that traffic could be delayed for hours and the operation would continue for "months, not weeks".

He said cars crossing the border would be shepherded into an area and would be questioned by police.

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"There will be significant delays when we see traffic building up," Chief Superintendent Wheeler said. 

"The border restrictions we have in place are going to cause pain to the community in terms of having to wait … and being delayed. 

"Plan ahead and be prepared for a lot of inconvenience."

He said if police established motorists were entering Queensland for essential purposes they would be moved on quickly.

"Details will be obtained and if we establish fairly quickly they are here for essential purposes, they will be waved through," he said.

Queensland police set up a road block at the NSW / Queensland border on Griffth St, Coolangatta.
Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp
Queensland police set up a road block at the NSW / Queensland border on Griffth St, Coolangatta. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp Scott Powick

He said a permit would be given to people who cross the border for work or they could apply for one on a government website to be rolled out by Friday.

For those entering Queensland for a holiday, Superintendent Wheeler said they would be given written direction to self-isolate for 14 days or risk a hefty fine.

A spokesman for Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stressed the border closure was not designed to impact border communities, but to hamper the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

"We are trying to stop the spread of the virus," he said.

"The Premier has said these measures are not aimed at border communities going about their normal lives although everyone everywhere should be limiting their travel.

"People who are going to and from work, visiting a sick relative, getting medical treatment will all get through.

"We are aiming to stop tourists who would usually head north on Easter holidays.

Those are the people we are trying to stop getting in their cars in the first place."  

Exemptions include:

  • Freight
  • Emergency vehicles
  • Emergency workers
  • Those travelling to and from work including FIFO workers
  • Court orders including family court
  • Compassionate grounds
  • Medical treatment  

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