By Shelby Brooks
IT WAS “business as usual” at the Lang Lang roadblock today (Thursday, September 17), the day restrictions eased for regional Victorians, Dandenong Police Sergeant Rob Colcott said.
As South Gippsland and Bass Coast Shires entered Step Three from 11.59pm last night (Wednesday, September 16), the borders between metropolitan and regional Victoria, known as the ‘ring of steel’, were tightened, with an increased fine of $4957 for metro people caught fleeing to the country.
“Ultimately our function here is to just check on people and ensure they are travelling and moving from the metro area into the rural area for the right reasons,” Sergeant Colcott told the Sentinel-Times at the roadblock today.
“We have been really happy with everyone’s conduct and their attitude towards our deployment out here. We appreciate the community’s patience when we run operations like this.
“The vast majority of people understand we are out here doing this for public safety at the end of the day.”
Victoria Police announced they would be checking every vehicle entering regional Victoria which was towing a caravan, camper trailer or any other trailer, a boat or jet ski, or that has a surfboard, fishing rod or swag.
When asked if there had been any holidaymakers attempting to drive through the ‘Ring of Steel’ at Lang Lang, Sergeant Colcott said “not so far”.
“We’ve been asking people about that sort of thing but so far we’ve seen really good adherence to the restrictions,” he said.
Sergeant Colcott said police were trying to not let any cars through without being checked, but the operation on the South Gippsland Highway was a constant safety site assessment.
He said cars could wait in the roadblock for up to 30 minutes, but as the Sentinel-Times was at the roadblock, several cars were waved through without being checked under that timeframe.
When asked, Sergeant Colcott said it was a safety reason they were waved through because roadside lights were being replaced and bollards being refilled.