Man’s hairbrained scheme to get across border

 

A MAN returning from a coronavirus hotspot tried to sneak into Queensland by walking across state lines and hiring a tow truck to get his vehicle across the border.

But the 51-year-old was slapped with a hefty fine after an eagle-eyed cop foiled his plan, police said.

Under current health directives Queenslanders can only return from a coronavirus hotspot by air and must spend two weeks in hotel quarantine.

Police said the man was told he would have to fly into Queensland and spend two weeks in quarantine when stopped by officers on Saturday.

A man has been caught sneaking into Queensland. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland
A man has been caught sneaking into Queensland. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland

It's understood the man had been in Wollongong for an unknown amount of time to "rekindle a relationship".

Instead, police said the man walked into Queensland and hired a tow-truck to take his vehicle across the border.

An eagle-eyed officer checked the vehicle's registration as it crossed a Coolangatta checkpoint and realised it had been flagged by the officers on Saturday.

Police followed up with the tow-truck driver, who did nothing wrong, and asked where it was heading.

Officers followed it to Tugun where the Brisbane man was fined $4,003 and ordered into hotel quarantine.

Gold Coast Police Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said the "blatant breach" was something they had planned for.

The border closure has been in effect for several months. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland
The border closure has been in effect for several months. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland

"We see different methods … (from) people who attempt to game the system for their own benefit. And the problem with it is it puts the whole community at risk and what we are trying to do is prevent the spread of COVID-19," he said.

"There's been a level of planning obviously, he's had to engage a tow-truck, he's had to spend money to do that.

"But it's not something we hadn't planned for, or wasn't something we weren't aware of. So for people who want to try that method, they can expect the same result.

"This is in our view a blatant breach and we'll continue to enforce the Chief Health Officer's directions."

Victoria, NSW and the Australian Capital Territory are currently COVID-19 hot spots under the directives.

Originally published as Man's hairbrained scheme to get across border



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