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No new cases as state prepares to open to northern NSW

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Police at the Queensland-NSW border checkpoint are warning of long delays when Queensland reopens to northern New South Wales on Thursday.

Police at the Queensland-NSW border checkpoint are warning of long delays when Queensland reopens to northern New South Wales on Thursday.

As of 1am Thursday the 41 postcodes that make up Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Richmond Valley, and Glenn Innes shires will be welcome in Queensland.

Residents from the designated postcodes will be allowed to travel for recreational purposes as long as they fill out a border pass and have not been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the previous 14 days.

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A new X-pass is expected to become available tomorrow which is the state's 15th iteration of the permit.

Citing previous hour-long delays and bottlenecks when restrictions were eased at the border checkpoints, Gold Coast police Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said motorists should brace for more of the same.

"There will be more traffic, more volume and importantly there will be some delays," he said.

"(It's) a long weekend, we will see more people wanting time come into Queensland, we'll see Queenslanders going interstate and wanting to come back."

From tomorrow there will also no longer be ADF personnel manning the border.

Coronavirus: ADF troops to be pulled from Queensland border checkpoints

Queensland had asked the Federal Government to keep troops on the border until October 19 but the request was denied.

Chief Supt Wheeler said 15 extra police would replace the 60 soldiers withdrawing from border duty but he was confident there would be enough staff on the checkpoints to cope with the extra traffic.

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Traffic flows would be monitored hourly and extra police would be moved in to ease blockages, he said.

No new cases, 'massive stockpile' in central Queensland

Queensland has recorded another day of no new COVID-19 cases and just eight cases still remain active across the state.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said zero new cases was "exactly what we hope to see".

The state now considers it to be 19 days since Queensland last recorded a case that posed a risk of community transmission.

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Mr Miles also announced a new "distribution hub" to house essential supplies and equipment for hospitals.

"We want to make sure that we have a massive stockpile of all of the equipment that we need right throughout the state and the logistics that will ensure we can distribute that stock into our health services as we need them," Mr Miles said.

He said the stockpile would be beneficial during not only a pandemic like coronavirus, but during natural disasters like cyclones, floods and bushfires.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young conceded at points during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state's stockpile had become precariously low.

"Although we never ran out of PPE in Queensland, we came close," she said.

"We did have a stockpile but it wasn't a stockpile that expected to see what has happened with this coronavirus pandemic."

A new 2175-square-metre warehouse to be built in Rockhampton will be able to hold 730 pallets of personal protection equipment (PPE).

"By having these strategic reserves in important parts of the state ... we can make sure our health services here have sufficient supply without having to rely on getting trucks up from Brisbane," Mr Miles said.

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You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

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Source: 9News

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