Massive traffic queues are expected to peak on Monday afternoon on the Queensland/NSW border as thousands of Queenslanders return home from northern NSW, which only opened up to them last week. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland
Massive traffic queues are expected to peak on Monday afternoon on the Queensland/NSW border as thousands of Queenslanders return home from northern NSW, which only opened up to them last week. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland

Huge delays as holiday-makers head home

Queensland police are urging holiday makers to plan ahead as heavy traffic queues are anticipated as the long weekend draws to a close.

The Gold Coast's top cop has warned the thousands of people expected to cross the Queensland/NSW border on Monday to ensure they have an X-Pass, after reports 60 per cent of motorists have had to be pulled aside since the border zone was extended on Thursday.

Since 1am on Thursday, Queenslanders and 152,000 northern NSW residents have been able to cross the border freely, provided they had a border declaration pass which stipulated they had not been further south than Glen Innes, Ballina or Lismore.

Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler told Today on Monday morning he anticipated traffic to peak during the afternoon.

"People need to plan ahead, make sure you have an X-Pass … and display it when you come through," he said.

Police say more than half of those who have crossed the border since Thursday have not had correct paper work, further adding to delays. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland
Police say more than half of those who have crossed the border since Thursday have not had correct paper work, further adding to delays. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland

Supt Wheeler said police were coping without ADF support, after 60 troops were pulled from the border on Wednesday.

"That has been supplemented with additional police from outside this district," he said.

"But the way the roads are constructed, we have to filter two lanes into one which creates a bottleneck.

"We can throw more resources, but the way we filter has to slow down traffic and of course that will mean delays."

Queensland is expected to open up to NSW from November 1, provided the southern state has successfully had a 28 day run of no community-transmission cases. The state has had no cases outside of hotel quarantine for eight days.

Supt Wheeler said police were reviewing their processes for what that would mean.

"That's millions more people eligible to come in," he said.

"If we need some more resources we will ask, but people have to understand there will still be delays."


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