Police pick up slack after ADF relieved of border duty
Darling Downs police will be required to do more overtime to plug a staffing shortfall when the Australian Defence Force mission at the Queensland border checkpoints ends on in late September.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the sudden decision by the Federal Government to recall ADF troops from the border was politically motivated, to pressure the state into reopening the borders.
"The Prime Minister does not like our strong border protections, but they have kept Queenslanders safe," he said.
"His withdrawal of support of the defence force is disappointing.
"It will make the job of police even harder.
"It will mean extra work for our police, more shifts, more overtime and more police allocated to that task.
"I don't think the defence force should be used as a bargaining chip in what is an ongoing political attack from the Federal Government.
"Our policies have worked, and they should back off."
Despite the extra pressure Mr Miles backed the police.
"They have done an excellent job," he said.
The border changes will affect checkpoints that fall within the Darling Downs police region, including at Wallangarra, Texas and Goondiwindi.
A Queensland Police Service spokeswoman said officers will be drawn from across the region for more shifts on the border.
"While the QPS is continuously assessing resource requirements and operational strategies, the community can be reassured the QPS has the capacity to adequately maintain policing services and core duties," she said.
Since the COVID-19 lockdown started most Darling Downs police units have temporarily shifted officers off their regular duties to man the border checkpoints and quarantine hotels, alongside officers from across the state.
"Officers are performing duties above and beyond their substantive roles to ensure all residents and visitors of Queensland are complying with the Chief Health Officer's public health directions," the QPS spokeswoman said.