A group of 16 carnival operators who travelled from Victoria into Queensland have been fined for entering the state on incorrect border declarations.
All have now been fined $4,003 each for failing to comply with the Covid-19 Border Direction and have been thrown out of the state.
Police say the carnies travelled through the Goondiwindi checkpoint on October 5, displaying a freight declaration pass.
Intended staying on in Queensland
The group had declared they would travel into Queensland for the purpose of delivering show rides to the Rockhampton Showgrounds.
Upon further investigations, however, officers from Taskforce Sierra Linnet, formed to enforce Covid-related restrictions, deemed the group failed to meet strict conditions attached to the freight declaration pass criteria.
According to a statement from Queensland Police, the group intended to stay in the state and operate show rides at various locations.
Were working at Mackay Showgrounds
But two days after their arrival in the state they were identified by police at Mackay Showgrounds and were directed into quarantine on October 7. Queensland Health conducted rapid response testing and all of the group returned a negative result.
Since August 8, 128 people have been issued penalty infringement notices for failing to comply with COVID-19 Border Directions and 497 people have been refused entry to Queensland.
“The Queensland Police Service is committed to ensuring everyone complies with public health directions and will continue to enforce restrictions at the border,” the QPS said in a statement.
Man spent 15 days in police watch house
“Providing false information on the declaration or entering Queensland unlawfully could result in a $4,003 fine.”
Last month a 26-year-old unemployed man from New South Wales who crossed the border illegally in an effort to see his girlfriend spent 15 days in a police watch house in the Hervey Bay area when he said he could not afford to pay to stay in a quarantine hotel.
Dale Vincent Symons was refused entry after driving to a border checkpoint at Goondiwindi. He later crossed illegally at an unmanned border post, but was seen by police on CCTV and later arrested.
Because he could not afford to pay a fine either, he was sentenced to 60 hours of unpaid community service.