Scenes of chaos and carnage have been described at the main border crossing from NSW into Queensland, but a video from a local has painted an entirely different picture.
A clip filmed by a car passenger on Thursday showed almost entirely empty roads at the border crossing into Coolangatta, Queensland, where ADF troops are set to be deployed in coming days.
“So this is the border, thank god the army are on their way,” the woman said sarcastically while filming the virtually empty streets.
Someone else shared a photo of the “deserted” area to Facebook on Tuesday, with not one car on the road at 8am.
The scene was described “criminal” by one, while others said it was likely the result of people complying with orders to stay home, or not trying to enter Queensland without an “essential” reason.
There were reports of lengthy delays at the check point on Monday, after the whole of NSW went into lockdown and police were tasked with checking every person entering Queensland.
The sunshine state’s toughest border rules yet have since been introduced, including allowing entry only to health, medical and emergency workers, freight or logistics workers, defence personnel of critical infrastructure workers.
Residents of the border zone will only be able to enter Queensland if they need to obtain essential goods they cannot “reasonably obtain” in NSW, or for essential work.
Additionally, everyone entering Queensland from Friday will need to have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
The strict rules have angered thousands of people living in border communities who cross into the neighbouring state daily for work, school, medical care and sport.
A campaign to have a “border bubble” introduced or push the border further south to avoid placing additional strain on Tweed residents was also shut down on Thursday.
“If you move that border, that cliff edge becomes another border for another community,” NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said.
“If you start dividing up New South Wales, you’ll cause more problems than actually solving solutions. The border cannot move and should not move because there’ll be unintended consequences that’ll have worse and more adverse outcomes for the broader part of the Northern Rivers area.”
The harsh approach has infuriated residents even further, with people moving house, supporting an ill relative, or trying to get to work being severely inconvenienced.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk requested troops be brought in to prevent Sydney’s Delta outbreak from further leaking into the state.
A spokesperson for the Premier announced on Wednesday evening that 100 troops would be helping police at the check point, but didn’t say when they would arrive.