‘Freaking out’ ‘trippy’ border cops rattled business owner
A GOLD Coast businesswoman says a "power trippy" policeman "interrogated" her for nearly 30 minutes and doubted the validity of her border pass upon arrival in Western Australia this week.
Elise Wallace alleges the supervising officer doubted her credentials, telling the specialist valuer the only reason her services were needed in regional WA was because "you were the cheapest" tenderer.
Ms Wallace arrived at Perth Airport on a "red-eye" flight from Brisbane on Sunday night after receiving a WA police-approved G2G pass to visit the state following a negative COVID-19 test and supporting documentation from a local government authority in regional WA.
Speaking from a hotel room she's confined to, Ms Wallace said she felt intimated by the police officer and was angry she wasted a day proving the validity of her G2G pass.
"I was meant to fly to regional WA on Monday to start work but I missed that flight, had to stay two nights in a hotel until the next available flight," she said.
"Not only does this mean I won't be able to fly home on Friday as planned to pick up my young children from preschool and school, but the cost of this job has blown out by nearly $3000 and is now not financially viable for my business.
"They (police) are definitely freaking out because of what's happening in Victoria."
Ms Wallace said she was furious at being accused of flying across Australia without the correct approvals in place.
"I pointed out I had approval as a specialist, I had returned a negative COVID test two days before I travelled and I had my G2G pass, approved by the WA police with me. No one even checked my identification."
"He didn't even read my paperwork and asked what made me think I was a specialist and after I told him my credentials as government asset valuer he said 'I don't think you're a specialist' and said my tender was only accepted because 'you were probably the cheapest'."
Ms Wallace said the "power trippy" supervisor completely ignored the approval given by his department and when she queried this, he told her the department employed 200-odd juniors to process border passes.
"He said 'if it had come across my desk it would not have been approved, they don't know what they are doing'.
"It was about 1am by this stage and after I was allowed to leave I rang my husband in tears. Once we spammed the department the next day I was issued a revised G2G pass with strict curfew instructions, which I believe is fair enough."
Ms Wallace wants her experience to be a warning to anyone travelling to WA, cautioning that "even if you've dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's you may still not be believed".
"They didn't like the fact I wasn't subject to quarantine, despite returning a negative COVID test two days before I travelled, and they didn't like the fact that I didn't look like a specialist," she said.
Originally published as 'Freaking out': How 'trippy' border cops rattled Coast woman