Border control tech pioneered

Article image - Border control tech pioneered New technology provides a solution for border communities facing locked gates on the drive to work.

Goondiwindi Regional Council is trialling a new Bluetooth phone technology system in partnership with the Queensland Police Service (QPS) that allows approved residents to cross closed roads on the Queensland/New South Wales border.

The trial allows approved local residents to enter through locked gates on the closed roads using a phone app and a security code that is unique to each individual.

Mayor, Lawrence Springborg, said police were looking at expanding the use of the technology pioneered in the Goondiwindi region to other state borders.

The closure of the Queensland border in March due to COVID-19 reduced the access points into the Goondiwindi region from New South Wales to just two roads. These roads are manned 24/7 with police checkpoints and require a permit to cross.

All other crossing points along the region’s 350 km state border have been closed, forcing some residents to travel hundreds of kilometres to run their businesses, shop, and access medical and essential services.

“It’s probably difficult for people outside of cross-border communities to understand just how connected and inter-reliant we are.

“To take Goondiwindi as an example - that’s a town of just 6000 residents, but it services 16,000 from both sides of the border.”

The trial is intended only for those people who have been significantly impacted by the closures and Mayor Springborg said the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 remained Council’s top priority.

“I’m very impressed with how quickly Council and the QPS have worked together to find a solution for our community and I’m also proud to be part of a region that is always looking for innovative ways of solving problems.”