Police officers check vehicles northbound on the Calder Freeway at Gisborne South last Thursday. Photo: Brian Wilson,

Macedon Ranges residents have raised concern over how easily people have been able to enter the shire from COVID-19 lockdown areas across its borders.
While police have established vehicle checkpoints on major arterial roads heading out of Melbourne, several people have contacted the Midland Express to report their easy entry to the Macedon Ranges via un-policed back roads.
A resident of Bacchus Marsh said she had to take her daughter to the dentist in Sunbury last Thursday and took her usual route to get there via Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road.
“I found it interesting that this was police free on my way there and back,” she said. “It’s a simple way from the metro suburbs to the region.”
A resident of Mitchell Shire who works in the Macedon Ranges said she was surprised to travel to and from work daily without being questioned.
“I expected to encounter a police check at some point on my drive and was prepared with a letter from my employer, but I wasn’t stopped in either direction at any point last week,” she said.
A delivery van driver coming back from Melbourne to Kyneton said he had left the Calder Freeway before the Gisborne South checkpoint at the Diggers Rest/Sunbury exit and took the back roads.
Macedon Ranges Highway Patrol officer Brett Magrath said police simply didn’t have the resources to have checkpoints on every road.
“If people want to go around anything they will, but it’s just putting the community at risk,” Leading Senior Constable Magrath said.
“Where the high volumes (of traffic) are, we’ll do checkpoints, and roving patrols will undertake number plate scanning.
“If you come up here and can’t justify it by meeting the (stage 3 restriction) criteria, you are going to get a $1600 fine for every person in the car.
“There won’t be any discretion.”
Under stage 3 ‘stay at home’ restrictions, residents of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are only able to leave their homes for four reasons – shopping for food and essential items; care and caregiving; daily exercise; and work and study, if they can’t do it from home.
Vehicle checkpoints in place across nine major arterial roads will be operational 24 hours a day and will remain in place for the coming weeks.
Police will be intercepting vehicles at random to ensure they are complying with the stage 3 restrictions.
There will also be mobile police vehicles across the state.