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Fears ADF border withdrawal will stretch police to their limit

The Australian Defence Force is preparing to withdraw from the Queensland border at the end of the month.

In a statement, the ADF say the Queensland government will need to “transition” the operation to “alternative arrangements when the current agreement with Defence expires on 30 September” (full statement below).

Queensland Police Union President and CEO Ian Leavers blasted the move, urging the Prime Minister to “take politics out of it” and ensure the ADF continues to station personnel at the checkpoints.

“The ADF is … an integral part of the operation for border control, as well as working in the quarantine hotels,” he told Scott Emerson.

“We’re going to have an increase in people coming back to Australia … and there are only so many police.

“The thin blue line only stretches so far.”

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Full statement from the Australian Defence Force:

The ADF is prioritising its resources toward support for mandatory quarantine arrangements and preparation for the high-risk weather season.

On 7 August 2020, Defence agreed to provide Queensland authorities support with border control points until 30 September 2020.

With processes along borders well-established for a number of months, Queensland authorities were advised on 11 September they will need to transition ADF support on borders to alternative arrangements when the current agreement with Defence expires on 30 September.

Commander of the Defence COVID-19 Taskforce Lieutenant General John Frewen also briefed National Cabinet on current ADF COVID-19 support to the states and territories and the need for Defence to begin prioritising preparations for the high-risk weather season.


Image: Queensland Police