Why the ADF refused requests for troops to help at border checkpoints
Victoria’s police force is stretched to the limit with officers taken off regular duties to patrol the NSW border and man quarantine hotels.
About 100 police are camped out near the Victorian-NSW border for Christmas, manning border checkpoints between the two states, but the Australian Defence Force has denied the state government’s request for border assistance.
Victoria isn’t the only state to have its request knocked back, with a Queensland government call for assistance also denied.
Commander of the ADF’s COVID-19 taskforce, Lieutenant-General John Frewen, says it’s simply not a priority.
“At the moment we’re not doing border checkpoints. We were doing that at the height of the Victorian second wave, but back in early September we went through a prioritisation exercise and we let all the states and territories know that we weren’t going to be doing borders,” he told Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.
“Our priorities right now are helping get Australians back from overseas and being ready for high risk weather events like the one we’ve seen in Fiji.
“In this La Nina season there’s a real change of cyclones and floods domestically.”
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Image: Asanka Ratnayake / Getty