Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders outside Allweld Manufacturing in Tinana.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders outside Allweld Manufacturing in Tinana.

Premier pledges to ‘hunt down’ quarantine dodgers

QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has vowed almost 200 people who entered the state and dodged quarantine will be found and punished.

This is after it was revealed 185 people from interstate and overseas used fake phone numbers, addresses to avoid mandatory isolation.

Dozens of others have not been found at their nominated address and are now wanted for questioning as Queensland authorities desperately try to avoid a similar situation to Victoria where a quarantine bungle caused a devastating second wave of infection.

VIRUS INVADERS: 185 visitors vanish without a trace

Speaking to reporters in Maryborough, the Premier said figures dated back to early April and there were 'no concerns' about a possible spread of the virus as a result of those people failing to do the right thing.

She said border and quarantine measures between states had been tightened since that time.

"We don't have any concerns about any spread of virus but we are still on the hunt for those people," she said

"If they are found they will be fined and they can face penalties of up the six months in jail."

The blatant disregard for the state's health directives has led to a call from Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers to "deport" the offenders and ban them from ever coming back.

Police have investigated 2322 cases since mid-April, mostly as a result of Queensland Health being unable to contact people by phone at their nominated self-quarantine address.

Their investigations found that while the majority were complying, more than 200 could not be found, 125 had left Queensland and returned home during the 14-day quarantine period and 17 were found at another address because of a family breakdown or other personal circumstances.