Queensland Police crack down on trucking border non-compliance

Checks to be increased and fines of $4,000 imposed for violations

With the microscope fixed on freight movements during the latest Covid-19 outbreaks on the east coast, a Queensland Police and Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) compliance operation has heightened scrutiny on the sector.

Officers from Taskforce Sierra Linnet and the Road Policing Command’s Heavy Vehicle Enforcement Team joined local police and TMR across the weekend in three border highway locations targeting heavy vehicles and freight compliance.

More than 130 heavy vehicles were intercepted at Coomera, Wallangarra and Goondiwindi across the weekend and 55 vehicles had either travelled without a pass or without relevant documentation.

State disaster coordinator deputy commissioner Steve Gollschewski said he was concerned by the low level of compliance with Queensland travel declaration or border passes a requirement to enter the state.

“Officers intercepted a large number of vehicles to ensure compliance with transport regulations, freight passes and an overall understanding of Covid-safe practices,” Gollschewski said.

“The Queensland community can have confidence the QPS and partner agency Transport and Main Roads are working together to mitigate the risk of Covid-19, but these results do show the time is appropriate to highlight the penalties.”

How infected removalists were in industry’s firing line, here

Travelling in and around Queensland without the necessary documentation will cost operators who breach freight pass directions a $4,135.

“We are in a position where we will be enforcing these fines to make a very clear point to the freight industry, we won’t allow Covid-19 to hitch a ride into Queensland on one of these heavy vehicles,” Gollschewski said.

It was noted Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young responded to the blitz by saying police will be increasing checks to ensure all drivers have been tested every seven days at least, while recommending drivers from confirmed hot spots in Sydney and Melbourne are tested every three days.

“It’s vital that freight continues, they ensure we have access to all our precious goods, including vaccines,” she is quoted as saying.

“But we need it to happen safely.”

In a tweet, the Queensland Trucking Association said “to support this, more accessible testing stations needs to be mobilised”.

More to come.

Send this to a friend