The New South Wales/QLD border restrictions will lift on Saturday to the delight of Goondiwindi region residents

The region's award-winning E-gates will no longer be required as border restrictions are lifted this weekend.
The region's award-winning E-gates will no longer be required as border restrictions are lifted this weekend.

The lifting of border restrictions has come as a relief to the Goondiwindi region's residents.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Queensland domestic border restrictions will be lifted from 1am on January 15.

Mayor of the Goondiwindi Region the Honourable Cr Lawrence Springborg AM said the past two years of border restrictions had been particularly tough on local residents.

"We've tried our best to go about our daily lives, which, for many of us, completely overlap the two states. It is logical that these border restrictions were not sustainable and tying up resources whilst we have so many cases on both sides of the border," the Mayor said.

The five Bluetooth E-Gates along the Queensland border will now now also be removed from Saturday (daylight hours).

"I'm extremely proud of our award-winning E-Gates, which council quickly adopted after the state government imposed border restrictions back in March 2020, and which have been able to prevent some residents from having to drive hundreds of kilometres to their closest manned police checkpoint," Cr Springborg said.

"They've been a wonderful example of common-sense regional ingenuity, and our pioneering technology has gone on to be adopted by other councils to help ease disruption for residents on both sides of the border," he said.

Council staff will begin removing signage, padlocks, and gate hardware on Saturday morning (daylight hours) with the aim of having all crossings open by the end of the day (weather and resources permitting). Heavier infrastructure such as concrete bollards will be removed from the sites in the following days.

E-Gate users who are planning to travel through the crossing points on Saturday need to be prepared to use the E-Gate access app until the gates and padlocks have been removed.

Goondiwindi Regional Council was awarded the highly sought-after Butch Lenton Bush Council Innovation Award in 2021 for its 'clever but simple solution' of the E-Gate system.

Since the E-Gates were first established in April 2020, more than 300 residents have been able to use the crossings to enter the region via Cunningham Weir Road, Riverton Road (Hynes Bridge), Yelarbon-Keetah Road (Keetah Bridge), Talwood-Boonanga Road and Bonshaw Weir Road.

During peak harvest seasons, the E-Gate crossings saw up to 500 uses per week.

Cr Springborg said he was hopeful that the gates would not be needed in the region again.

"For the past two years border communities have borne the brunt of border restrictions and whose compliance has bought the rest of the state the time they needed to get vaccinated.

"We now look forward to returning to our close-knit, cross-border way of life - without restriction."