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Woman fined for checkpoint claim as border slows to crawl

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 31/07/2020 Rebeka Powell

A 25-year-old woman has been handed a $4003 fine for allegedly lying on her border declaration pass and failing to declare she had travelled from a hotspot in New South Wales.

Police became suspicious while checking her border declaration pass as she entered the checkpoint in Coolangatta about 4am today.

Police allege the woman eventually admitted to recently being in Campbelltown, Sydney.

Another passenger in the vehicle, a 53-year-old Fairfield man,  who was wanted for other criminal matters was taken into custody.

"After the police did a very diligent job questioning the driver they became suspicious of her version," Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said.

It came as travellers looking to beat the looming Greater Sydney border lockdown became caught in significant traffic delays along the M1 approaching Tweed and Coolangatta.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned of lengthy delays and urged travellers to plan ahead.

"There will be delays at the border so think about your travel plans and think about where you need to go and think about the timing of those journeys," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Annastacia Palaszczuk holding a teddy bear: Friday July 31: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed one new COVID-19 case was recorded in the state which believed to be locally acquired and connected to a Logan cluster. Friday July 31: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed one new COVID-19 case was recorded in the state which believed to be locally acquired and connected to a Logan cluster.

"I'm not making any apologies for those delays because our police have a very important job to do and I want to thank everybody for the work that they are doing on our boarders to keep Queenslanders safe."

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said police were well prepared ahead of the influx.

LIVE: Victoria records 627 new cases and eight deaths

"We are in a position to be able to process them very effectively," he said.

"Our borders are working and I've listened with interest to some of the suggestions that are coming out there around what we should consider and in terms of how we do our borders."

a large long train on a steel track: Heavy congestion was building early afternoon along the M1 northbound. © Nine Heavy congestion was building early afternoon along the M1 northbound.

Commissioner Gollschewski again touted the state's new alert system when it came time for people to renew their border declaration passes.

"Certainly those people that are coming out of the Greater Sydney hotspot, that have a border declaration pass will be getting push notifications telling them that there is changed circumstances and they need to update their passes," he said.

a close up of a map: 'Greater Sydney' stretches to the Central Coast. © Nine 'Greater Sydney' stretches to the Central Coast.

"That is just an example of some of the things we have done to try to streamline the system. High confidence there."

Earlier this morning a Queensland woman who travelled to a coronavirus hotspot was fined after she was busted allegedly lying at a Gold Coast border checkpoint while trying to get back into the state.

The woman was caught-out after police became suspicious while checking her border declaration pass as she entered the checkpoint in Coolangatta about 4am this morning.

"After the police did a very diligent job questioning the driver they became suspicious of her version," Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said.

On Wednesday, Greater Sydney was declared a hotspot effective from 1am tomorrow.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she had no prior warning of the decision.

READ MORE: View the full list of places affected by the Greater Sydney hotspot declaration

"There has been more outbreaks in other parts of Greater Sydney and that will now become a COVID declared hotspot taking effect from 1am on Saturday," Ms Palaszczuk said.

a train on a steel track: Police warned motorists to anticipate delays as thousands hope to beat the looming 1am deadline. © Nine Police warned motorists to anticipate delays as thousands hope to beat the looming 1am deadline.

"We have done this to ensure we give notice to Queenslanders who may want to return home.

"We are in extraordinary times at the moment and we have to do everything we can.

"Queenslanders should not be travelling to Sydney."

a man wearing a suit and tie: Questions are being raised about the effectiveness of Queensland’s border controls after three women allegedly snuck into Queensland from Victoria. © Provided by 9News.com.au Questions are being raised about the effectiveness of Queensland’s border controls after three women allegedly snuck into Queensland from Victoria.

Returning Queenslanders will be required to self-fund two weeks hotel quarantine when the new measures come into effect."

In the last 23 hour period NSW has recorded 21 new cases of COVID-19, with just two in hotel quarantine.

Health officials are yet to reveal the breakdown of the new cases and whether they are connected to existing clusters.

You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348

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