The Golden Nugget is a popular and busy truck stop and service station just south of Gympie on the Bruce Highway. The Gympie Times
The Golden Nugget is a popular and busy truck stop and service station just south of Gympie on the Bruce Highway. The Gympie Times

Victorian travellers cause COVID fear at Gympie truck stop

A FACEBOOK post alleging a group of Victorian travellers were seen and overheard at Gympie’s popular Golden Nugget truck stop and service station after gaining entry to Queensland “the back way” met with a muted response from health authorities and police yesterday.

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The post claimed the travellers with Victorian number plates on their three vehicles were overheard discussing how they had travelled in to NSW and then Queensland “through the back way”.

Victorians are banned from coming in to Queensland, but if they had been in NSW for several weeks it could change things.

Police checking people at the Queensland border. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Police checking people at the Queensland border. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

The post indicates the anxieties of Queensland residents around a “second wave” caused by community contact.

From July 10, 2020, any person travelling from New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory can enter Queensland subject to completing and signing a border declaration and undertaking to present for a COVID-19 test if they develop symptoms.

Any person that has been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days, including Victoria, must not enter Queensland.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos JULY 15, 2020: Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Stuart Street at Coolangatta. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos JULY 15, 2020: Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Stuart Street at Coolangatta. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland

Posted on Facebook on Tuesday night by a Hervey Bay resident who had also stopped at the Golden Nugget, allegedly saw the travellers and overheard their conversation, was this:

“When we came home from Brisbane on Sunday we dropped in to our normal stop at the Golden Nugget at Gympie, while having a coffee and something to eat Scott and I noticed three Victorian number plates on cars towing their caravans.

“We sat in the restaurant waiting and these people were also sitting in the dining area bragging about coming through the back way, I’m not sure what that meant but how they didn’t even get checked they showed there pass through the windscreen and were let across the border from Victoria into NSW and into Queensland.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos JULY 15, 2020: Patients and nurse at the Covid Clinic at Tweed Heads Hospital in NSW. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos JULY 15, 2020: Patients and nurse at the Covid Clinic at Tweed Heads Hospital in NSW. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland

“...not are they casually thinking that no one knows they have crossed the boarder but bragging between themselves about the way they crossed the boarder into Queensland but then they started talking about they were heading yes wait for it...HERVEY BAY.”

Queensland Police Media had this to say when sent a copy of the post and asked for a response:

“While QPS is the lead agency on border control, Queensland Health is probably best placed to answer your questions about health concerns.”

A Queensland Health spokesperson said, when also sent the post, that “from 10 July 2020, anyone can enter Queensland unless they have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days prior to their arrival. Anyone entering Queensland must complete a Border Declaration.

“Anyone who provides false or misleading information in their Border Declaration faces a $4004 fine or a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,345.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 15: A general view of the Alfred Hospital on July 15, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne hospital workers are among new confirmed coronavirus cases in Victoria this week, with eight staff at The Alfred Hospital testing positive to COVID-19, along with a number of cases linked back to Brunswick Private Hospital. Victoria has recorded 238 new coronavirus cases and o
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 15: A general view of the Alfred Hospital on July 15, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne hospital workers are among new confirmed coronavirus cases in Victoria this week, with eight staff at The Alfred Hospital testing positive to COVID-19, along with a number of cases linked back to Brunswick Private Hospital. Victoria has recorded 238 new coronavirus cases and o

“The Border Declaration also requires anyone who comes to Queensland to sign off on their requirement to be tested if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms. If residents or travellers do not comply, they face a $4004 fine.

“Queenslanders and all visitors to Queensland are reminded that they play an enormous role in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

“Everyone is reminded to continue to follow the recommended advice from us and our federal counterparts in regard to social distancing, public gatherings and general wellbeing.

“This includes maintaining 1.5 metres between yourself and others as much as possible, washing hands properly and often, staying home if you’re unwell, and getting tested if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms.”