'Show some Xmas compassion': Gladys slams border closures
A frustrated Gladys Berejiklian has this morning hit out at harsh border closures, urging other state leaders to show some Christmas compassion.
It comes as 57 vehicles containing 115 people were turned back at the border on Monday night and a Sydney woman was fined for trying to sneak into Queensland.
Meanwhile, hundreds of border residents have again been left stranded in a 'no-man's land' by the latest border closure.
Queensland recorded no new cases of COVID-19 today. There are currently 10 active cases in the state.
Announcing New South Wales had recorded eight new cases of COVID-19, the State's Premier voiced "frustration at various stages of the pandemic with my other colleagues in other states".
"Please consider the compassionate grounds," she said.
"There are parts of New South Wales completely unaffected by this current outbreak, and yet everyone in New South Wales is suffering because other state leaders have made decisions."
Ms Berejiklian said she had faith in the state's systems of detection and quarantine.
"It's not just to look at the health impacts and the societal impacts, what it means for the greater population," she said.
"You had to assess the medical risk against the risk of other things ... That's why we (New South Wales) waited until Victoria had consistently 140, 120, 180 cases a day before we closed our border to Victoria.
"There's also an element of holding your nerve if you have confidence in your practices, you have confidence in the strategy, you also take that into account."
Many residents living on the Queensland side of the border in areas including the Currumbin and Numinbah valleys and Natural Bridge cross the border daily to shop and use services such as the Murwillumbah Hospital.
The services are much closer to those on the Gold Coast.
But the hard closure of Nerang-Murwillumbah Rd at Natural Bridge and Tomewin Mountain Rd in the Currumbin Valley have cut off their access to NSW.
The closures are identical to those introduced when the border was first closed in March.
It prompted outcry from residents and local MPs but police are making no apologies.
They say the border had to be locked down hard in response to Sydney's COVID crisis, and have brief MPs.
Gold Coast police Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said more checkpoints could be opened up, depending on police resources.
Supt Wheeler earlier revealed a Sydney woman was caught trying to sneak into Queensland by lying to officers during multiple attempts to cross the border.
"She then attended the M1 checkpoint and attempted to gain entry there … we knew where she had come in and we knew where she had come from, she was given an infringement notice for $4,000."
Queues were again building on Tuesday morning at police border checkpoints on the Gold Coast Highway and M1.
We're warning motorists to expect long delays at the New South Wales and Queensland border as the hard border closure is reinstated by the Queensland Government. https://t.co/n4LmzBAYMn pic.twitter.com/n8yObFEqeE— RACQ (@RACQOfficial) December 21, 2020
Mr Wheeler said police would not hesitate to fine anyone who breached Queensland's strict border closures.
"So people who try and game the system, the Queensland Police Service will be waiting for you with an unwanted Christmas gift of $4,000 that you won't be able to return." He said.
"If you're In a COVID-19 hotspot in NSW, simply do not come to Queensland.
"It's not worth the risk."
Originally published as Border assault: 115 turned back, Sydney woman fined $4,000