REVEALED: Total fines for border cheaters
COVID fines in Queensland are nearing $3m, with border cheaters slugged more than $60,000 in penalties last month alone as police work overtime to catch out the liars who are putting the lives of Queenslanders in peril.
A Brisbane woman, 25, became the latest of 15 people hit with a $4000 fine after allegedly trying to dupe cops at a Gold Coast border checkpoint early on Friday.
The woman can be heard swearing on body cam video released by angry police after she was busted trying to sneak into Queensland illegally, fresh from visiting COVID-declared hotspots Fairfield and Campbelltown in Sydney.
Her passenger was taken into custody after it was discovered there was an arrest warrant out for him in NSW.
Police warn they will ramp up border security from 1am Saturday, when Greater Sydney officially becomes a declared hotspot, shutting five million Harbour City residents out of the Sunshine State.
Gold Coast police Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said the Brisbane woman probably thought she could slip through the checkpoint in the early morning because police wouldn't be vigilant.
"Well I can tell you now, the police on those border checkpoints are being eternally vigilant," he said.
"Anything they encounter, if they are suspicious of it, they'll ask further questions, they'll ask for proof. If they're not satisfied with the proof, they'll turn you around, irrespective of where you say you've come from."
Police have now dished out a total of $60,045 in fines to people trying to illegally enter Queensland by making false border declarations.
The offence came into force when the state border reopened on July 10 and those busted include a van-load of young Victorians who twice tried to breach the border, hotspot travellers trying to cross the state line in buses and one man who even tried to sneak into Queensland in a car boot.
Superintendent Wheeler warned that there were likely to be increased traffic delays at the border checkpoints when the Greater Sydney hotspot declaration officially kicked in at 1am on Saturday.
About 95,000 Gold Coast and northern NSW residents have been sent emails urging them to download the latest border declaration pass in an effort to reduce delays.
"The reality of this is there will be inconveniences and there will be delays," Superintendent Wheeler said.
"This is our new normal, but it is for a very good reason. We are trying to stop COVID-19 coming into Queensland."
Total COVID-19 fines in Queensland are now nearing $3 million, with 2169 penalty infringement notices (each $1334) issued since March for breaching COVID restrictions.
Almost 2600 people have been turned back at the state's border checkpoints.
Police, however, admit they are not manning every single entry point into Queensland around the clock, with Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski saying "they are not staffed 24/7 necessarily way out in the remote parts".
"But what we have got is patrols in those areas and police doing intercepts of people who are in that area to check whether they've come across or not."
Meanwhile, Health Minister Steven Miles said temperature checks were not being carried out at airports
Originally published as $60k and counting as covidiots keep on coming