Queensland is urging the federal government to keep soldiers posted along its NSW border after Defence announced it will withdraw.
The Australian Defence Force will pull out of the border zone on September 30, saying troops need to prepare for the upcoming storm season.
Queensland's deputy premier and the police union say it's a political decision, blaming Canberra's outgoing row with the state government over its tough border policies.
The withdrawal will occur just one day before Queensland significantly relaxes travel restrictions for 152,000 extra northern NSW residents, with border traffic expected to pick up.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is disappointed about the decision and has called for talks with the federal government about extending the ADF deployment.
"Our borders have kept Queenslanders safe and we would like to see that support continue," she said.
She says if other states continue to have ADF assistance at their borders after September 30, like along the NSW border with Victoria, Queensland deserves the same support.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles says the withdrawal will put pressure on police, who will have to work more shifts and longer hours at border checkpoints.
"I really don't think the defence force should be used as a bargaining chip in what is an ongoing political attack on the state government," he said.
"Our policies have worked and they should back off."
Ms Palaszczuk and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have been in a bitter dispute over the border closure ahead of the October 31 state election, but federal Health Minister Greg Hunt denies the withdrawal is "payback".
"No, this was the agreement that was reached in August and we'll continue to provide the support," Mr Hunt insisted.
Mr Hunt refused to comment on whether the ADF deployment would be extended if Queensland requested it, saying military movements were up to the prime minister.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers branded the ADF's explanation of needing to prepare for the upcoming storm season as "political spin".
He claimed the ADF would "never tell the truth" because they were controlled by political federal bureaucrats.
"Everyone can see it, there's disagreement between premiers and the prime minister and obviously people are being pulled out. I suggest it's political spin. I will call it for how it is," Mr Leavers told ABC radio.
He warned police would have to be hauled from the front line to fill the positions.
Mr Leavers said the ADF had done a tremendous job supporting police and pulling them out "reeks of political interference".
More than 300 soldiers will continue to oversee quarantine hotels in Queensland.
Australian Associated Press