Coronavirus Gympie: Residents good, visitors not so much
POLICE praise for Gympie region residents has been accompanied by concern about continuing COVID-19 breaches elsewhere and hope for a further easing of restrictions next week.
The same praise may not have been earned by some Cooloola Coast visitors, however.
An extra 140 police on duty made a total of 900 officers watching for breaches of the coronavirus regulations on the long weekend so far.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said 146 breach notices had been issued at the weekend, making a total of 1740 issued across Queensland so far since introduction of COVID-19 restrictions.
But she was delighted at the way regional Queenslanders had accepted the isolation message, though clearly unhappy with people booked at the Gold Coast and in Brisbane for gatherings that breached social isolation rules.
At Imbil, police said only small numbers of people had arrived at Borumba Dam, but the town’s food and coffee businesses were doing a busy takeaway trade.
“A heap of motorbikes and Sunday drivers, all having a day out, plenty of people in town and no problems,” was how Senior Constable Bill Greer summed it up.
“A lot of trail bike riders stopped in town to get pies and coffee before heading to the bush. Road bikes were also in numbers and Sunday drivers,” he said.
Similarly, behaviour at coastal centres was generally compliant, although one resident and a shopkeeper reported there were people in town who were well outside the specified travel limit of 50km radius from home, including some allegedly from as far as Bundaberg and Brisbane.
Commissioner Carroll said people breaching the rules could set off the feared second wave of the pandemic and most people by now were very clear on the rules.
“Basically if you see a beach or a shop is crowded, either come back later or go somewhere else,” she said.
Further easing of restrictions was on the agenda of discussions this Friday, with possible progress by the end of next week, but only if the virus remained under control, she said.
Speeding has become a new safety problem on the roads, with a big increase in the number of people speeding and an “exponential” increase in recorded speeds from static cameras.
“We’ll be getting in the mobile speed camera data soon,” she said.
“Speed on the road is at a critical stage.
“The number of people speeding is serious and so is the big increase in speeds.
“We have seven more fatalities so far this year than last year,” she said.