Josh Kerr treks at White Rock on a training run before coronavirus restrictions.
Josh Kerr treks at White Rock on a training run before coronavirus restrictions.

Visitors urged to stay away this Easter

Visitors are being told to stay away from Ipswich conservation estates over the Easter long weekend, including the popular bushwalking trails of Paperbark Flats, Harding’s Paddock and Flinders Plum, and trails used by runners and mountain bike riders at White Rock and Spring Mountain.

Queensland Health advice is for people to stay at home and Ipswich City Council CEO David Farmer said residents needed to comply.

“It is important for people to heed that advice,” he said.

“Normally, like most tourist spots, we’d be welcoming people to our city over the Easter break, but this is very different. All non-essential travel is unlawful and can’t be tolerated.

“As tempting as it might be to explore the great outdoors, now is not the time to be discovering new areas.”

Picnic areas will be strictly closed.

Conservation estates will be open to local residents who would normally use the areas for exercise, but there is the potential for police identification checks on visitors.

The QT understands police were checking ID at Castle Hill Reserve in Blackstone earlier this week, to ensure residents using the bike track and walking trails were from the area.

Acting Inspector Donna Stewart urged residents to holiday at home this Easter.

“Police will be enforcing all of the restrictions, but we’re going to continue in our theme of communication and compassion,” she said.

“If there’s an honest mistake, we will attempt to educate the public, but we will not hesitate to use compliance measures or enforcement measures, such as issuing a ticket, if people should be blatantly disregarding the restrictions.”

Mr Farmer said Ipswich was becoming a tourism hub for bushwalkers and nature lovers.

“We have some of the most beautiful forests in the southeast corner, and the highest peak. When this is all over, we will be welcoming people back,” he said.

“In the meantime, we’ll be taking the same hard line as we’re seeing with Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast beaches, and other popular gathering places.

“The authorities are saying they’re very pleased with the progress we’re making to control COVID-19, and we don’t want that to change over Easter.”

Meanwhile, new rules will apply to all Queenslanders returning home from interstate.

From last night, anyone returning home will need a special permit to cross back into Queensland.

Anyone who has visited a virus hotspot like Sydney will need to quarantine for 14 days upon returning home.

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