Deployment text triggers critical border lockdown questions

 

SES volunteers from Cairns have been called for deployment to the NSW frontier with a list of dates raising questions about how long borders restrictions will stay in place.

Volunteers with the State Emergency Service received a text message saying they would be required for "COVID soother borders ops" on five-day deployments during peak cyclone season.

The dates in question were November 10, November 30, December 20 and January 9.

"Each day will comprise two shifts, 0800-1200 and 1400-1800 (two-hour break between)," the message continued.

"Duties will include triaging vehicles, assessing border passes etc."

SES Officers arrive at the Queensland-NSW border crossing to help police with security inspections. PICTURE: SCOTT POWICK
SES Officers arrive at the Queensland-NSW border crossing to help police with security inspections. PICTURE: SCOTT POWICK


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has vowed to reassess Queensland's border blockade with Sydney and Victoria at the end of the month, but authorities are clearly planning for a much more prolonged control period.

Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said any SES border work would be "simply departmental pre-planning".

SES volunteers from Cairns have been called to man the NSW borders with dates as far back as January 2021. PICTURE: SUPPLIED
SES volunteers from Cairns have been called to man the NSW borders with dates as far back as January 2021. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

"They're just trying to get well and truly ahead of things," he said.

"They don't have any say when the borders change or what they do."

The timing of the deployments coincides with some of the most active months for cyclones in the Far North.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of a 67 per cent increase in the likelihood of cyclone activity on the eastern coast due to La Nina conditions.

Minister for Emergency Services Craig Crawford says the SES will be ready for cyclone season. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Minister for Emergency Services Craig Crawford says the SES will be ready for cyclone season. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

Mr Crawford said residents could rest assured the SES would be adequately manned if disaster struck.

"We've got good surge potential here in Queensland and we can send our resources where we need them," he said.

"Sometimes we have fires and cyclones in the same day."

Originally published as Deployment text triggers critical border lockdown questions


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