Armageddon after ‘out of control’ border changes
A pregnant woman was forced to walk across the Queensland border to avoid facing hour-long traffic delays caused by 11th-hour border changes.
The woman was among the thousands of travellers stuck in the chaos following a decision to introduce a new border declaration system at noon on Friday, rendering the existing passes through the border invalid.
Those passing through checkpoints are now required to sign on through a new online portal.
Peak-hour traffic was at a crawl from Currumbin to the border as motorists were asked to complete the new declaration on the spot.
A doctor who works on the border said the sudden changes were "out of control".
"It is border chaos once more with the sudden revocation of previous passes not announced," he said.
"A pregnant woman walked to the surgery rather than try and cross the border by car. Others have given up trying to cross and turned around and gone home. I hope no-one's health is compromised by the delay.
"We've had patients delayed by the fact no-one knew they needed a new pass. Traffic is even more gridlocked in Tweed Heads. And are the passes really only good for seven days?
"There must be a better way than this."
Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski urged motorists earlier yesterday to "please get across this" as the new system came into effect.
"Because this is a new system we expect this to be pretty lumpy and difficult for the first couple of days if not for the first week," he said.
"Bearing in mind we're (also) transitioning to a new system next week when the borders open up to all states.
"Really honestly, we know that this is going to be pretty unpleasant for a bit, we understand that."
Queensland will open its borders for the first time in more than three months on July 10 to all states except Victoria, which has been hit by a second wave of coronavirus.
Queensland recorded yet another day of zero new infections, with one case now remaining on the Gold Coast. Stage 3 restrictions took effect yesterday, giving the green light to struggling businesses to return to "semi normality".
Originally published as Armageddon after 'out of control' border changes