The truck drivers parked their vehicles on the southbound lanes of the M1 Highway at Queensland's Gold Coast on the morning of Aug. 23. Banners with messages that called for health freedom and the lifting of stringent border restrictions covered some of the parked trucks.
A driver named Brock Holroyd said his fellow truckers gathered in protest of the Queensland state government's health orders that blocked people – save for essential workers – from entering. "End all lockdowns, people go back to work and kids go back to school. That's all we want out of it; we've had enough of [lockdowns]," he told Australian media outlet Nine.
Holroyd continued: "We've had a lot [of] support, the people that showed up today is amazing. We appreciate everyone that's come down. But it's all about choice at the end of the day. If you don't want to get the [vaccine], don't get [it]. If you do want to get it, get it. But just don't keep locking up people."
Tony Fulton, another truck driver, said he was prepared to be arrested in defense of "Australian rights." He told 7News: "We want to end these lockdowns. We don't want forced vaccinations and we want to open up the country and learn to live with the virus."
Australian federal Sen. Pauline Hanson and her chief of staff James Ashby also attended the truck drivers' protest. The lawmaker and founder of the One Nation political party eventually told the protesting truckers that "it was time to move on" by 7 a.m.
Queensland's government implemented the border restrictions following an outbreak of the more infectious B16172 delta variant in the Greater Sydney area. Under the restrictions, only those involved in skilled construction, farming or healthcare were allowed to enter the state as essential workers.
Essential workers were also mandated to prove that a Queensland resident cannot do a certain job and that they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Related: Australia's COVID-19 cases continue to rise despite draconian lockdowns.)
The Queensland Health website later revised its guidance, saying that "only certain people can enter … by road including truck drivers, workers related to the transport of freight and logistics and people performing select essential activities."
Queensland Police Service Acting Chief Superintendent for the Gold Coast District Rhys Wildman said the truckers face criminal charges for their protest. The 45-minute blockage at the M1 Highway held up emergency vehicles and posed a great concern. Wildman told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: "There's a bigger picture in this around putting lives at risk – which is really, really disappointing. We are investigating and, obviously, action will be taken against those particular drivers are a later time." (Related: TYRANNY DOWN UNDER: Australia sends out cops, choppers to enforce coronavirus rules.)
Stuart Robert, the Australian federal minister for employment and workforce, acknowledged Queensland's strict border mandates. However, he expressed disagreement over the truckers' protests that inconvenienced many Australians. "[Truckers] are important – but if you want to make a point, great, make the point. But don't inconvenience thousands and thousands of people," Robert said during an appearance in The Today Show.
Robert also defended vaccination as an important tool to get Australia out of the pandemic and its related lockdowns. He said: "Vaccination seems to be the way for us to be able to get through this, to get back out of lockdown and to get ourselves back to the freedoms that we love here in Australia."
MedicalTyranny.com has more articles about Australia's draconian approach to addressing COVID-19 through lockdowns.