Deployment text triggers critical border lockdown questions
SES volunteers from Cairns have been called for deployment to the NSW frontier with a list of dates raising questions about how long borders restrictions will stay in place.
Volunteers with the State Emergency Service received a text message saying they would be required for "COVID soother borders ops" on five-day deployments during peak cyclone season.
The dates in question were November 10, November 30, December 20 and January 9.
"Each day will comprise two shifts, 0800-1200 and 1400-1800 (two-hour break between)," the message continued.
"Duties will include triaging vehicles, assessing border passes etc."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has vowed to reassess Queensland's border blockade with Sydney and Victoria at the end of the month, but authorities are clearly planning for a much more prolonged control period.
Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said any SES border work would be "simply departmental pre-planning".
"They're just trying to get well and truly ahead of things," he said.
"They don't have any say when the borders change or what they do."
The timing of the deployments coincides with some of the most active months for cyclones in the Far North.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of a 67 per cent increase in the likelihood of cyclone activity on the eastern coast due to La Nina conditions.
Mr Crawford said residents could rest assured the SES would be adequately manned if disaster struck.
"We've got good surge potential here in Queensland and we can send our resources where we need them," he said.
"Sometimes we have fires and cyclones in the same day."
Originally published as Deployment text triggers critical border lockdown questions