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Friday, October 23, 2020

Second Logan trio charged over alleged Melbourne visit

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Three Logan men have been charged by police and taken into hotel quarantine after allegedly providing misleading information about their movements at the Queensland border.

Police allege the men had been travelling in Victoria and visited the hotspot of Melbourne, which is now in stage four lockdown due to soaring coronavirus cases.

The men – a 29-year-old from Slacks Creek, a 23-year-old from Waterford and a 25-year-old from Loganlea – arrived in the state on August 2 after passing through the Victoria-NSW border.

“They came into Queensland and they are currently in quarantine and they’re in the process of getting tested,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“We don’t want people to do this. It’s not right. People are obviously lying on their declaration forms, and it is undermining all of the great work that Queenslanders have done.”

The men had a G-Pass stating they had not been in a hotspot but they later admitted they had visited Melbourne, Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.

“It’s really, really disappointing that given where Victoria is at the moment and we all know what’s happening there – that people in our community are still telling lies and deliberately trying to mislead the system so they can get back into our state,” Mr Gollschewski said.

“The fact that they have been in Victoria is something of grave concern to all of our community. 

“What we really need people to do is to disclose that. The worst that can happen is they have to go into quarantine for 14 days. They don’t get imprisoned. They don’t get fined with anything.

“But what they’re doing, by telling lies deliberately, is having themselves charged with criminal offences, having to front court down the track and answer for their actions in a court of law. That, to me, seems unacceptable behaviour.”

Another man was able to escape mandatory quarantine after allegedly pretending to be a diplomat using documents written on a Department of Foreign Affairs letterhead, the premier said.

The man – who was a private security contractor who arrived back in Australia from Afghanistan – was able to fly from Sydney to Maroochydore without going into the 14-day quarantine.

“There is a loophole here, and it needs to be closed,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“I will be raising this at National Cabinet on Friday.”

The documents have since been sent to the Queensland police commissioner to investigate, Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Our understanding is that a letter was provided on DFAT letterhead and an exemption was also granted. This will be fully investigated, but there is still a loophole that needs to be closed.”

It came as Ms Palaszczuk announced Queensland recorded no new cases of coronavirus overnight.

The number of active cases stands at 12, seven of those remain in hospital.

Just under 10,000 tests were carried out in the past 24 hours.

In Victoria, 439 new coronavirus cases were recorded. Another 11 people also lost their lives in the state overnight.

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