Police app to speed up border crossings

POLICE are working on an app that will streamline the border crossing process.

The app, which could be rolled out as soon as next week, will keep a record of the user’s border crossing declarations.

Police will scan the app as the user enters Queensland, check everything is in order and send them on their way.

The app is one of the tools police will use to reduce the staffing pressure at the border after the Federal Government ended the Australian Defence Force deployment yesterday.

Southern Downs Inspector Dave Preston said police numbers would not change despite the ADF mission ending.

Instead the departing ADF troopers will be replaced by Queensland Transport staff.

“They are the inspectors who check tickets on the buses and trains in Brisbane,” he said.

Unlike the ADF troopers, the QT inspectors will be empowered under the disaster management protocols to stop motorists and ask for their name, age and address.

“People must stop and obey their request,” Insp Preston said.

However, police will retain sole responsibility for issuing fines or enforcement action.

The police will also use Department of Transport and Main Roads traffic counters to record the 4000 people that cross daily at Wallangarra, Goondiwindi and Texas.

Until yesterday that task was given to an ADF trooper with a pen and clipboard.

The Federal Government announced the withdrawal about two weeks ago.

At the time Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wrote to the Prime Minister asking that he reverse the decision.

Her request was denied.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers criticised the decision.

“The ADF withdrawal would further deplete police resources across Queensland,” he said.

“This could go as high as 15 to 20 per cent of the workforce being redirected to border control and biosecurity duties.

“This would be detrimental to frontline policing, shrinking the numbers of police able to respond to calls for assistance.”