Council and Queensland Police to trial additional border crossings for locals

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Goondiwindi Regional Council is working with the Queensland Police Service (QPS) to undertake a trial that will allow local residents to enter the Goondiwindi region via the Queensland border crossings that are currently closed to traffic. Residents should expect, however, that approval will only be granted to those who are genuinely and significantly disadvantaged by the closures.

The only way to cross the Queensland border into the region is currently via police checkpoints at either the Inglewood-Texas Road or the Newell Highway at Goondiwindi. All other border crossings into the region are currently blocked to vehicle access, causing some residents to have to travel hundreds of kilometres to access services or operate their businesses.

The Honourable Lawrence Springborg, Mayor of the Goondiwindi region, said that Council would release confirmed details of the trial next week. 

“Council has been working closely with the Queensland Police Service to advocate for the needs of its residents and businesses in the matter of border closures,” the Mayor said.

“The prevention of the spread of COVID-19 remains the priority of the closures,” Cr Springborg said. “With that in mind, there needs to be some understanding of the complexity of border regions and I am happy to say that we have been able to work with the QPS on this matter to reduce the impact on locals.”

Cr Springborg emphasised that the trial will be provisional only, and is not guaranteed to continue.

“This trial will require co-operation by all, and permission will only be granted to those who are significantly disadvantaged by the current closures. For example, emergency services vehicles, or those who operate split farms,” Cr Springborg said.

“The crossings will be closely monitored by the Queensland Police and any abuse of the system may mean that the trial is discontinued.”

Cr Springborg said it was likely that the trial would utilise a technology-based solution. This may go on to benefit other border regions that are impacted by the closure of the Queensland border.

“Supporting the health and safety of our locals is essential, and we acknowledge that that the border restrictions for all non-essential crossings are a critical component of keeping residents safe,” Cr Springborg said.

Council will release more information about the trial next week.

Published: 17th April 2020