Nationals Leader Mia Davies has written to the Premier today in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak seeking clarification on a number of matters relating to the lockdown and Government response.
“The Nationals accept the advice of the Chief Health Officer and WA Police Commissioner on this serious situation, and we urge all West Australians to follow the advice of authorities so we can return to the freedoms we have enjoyed for the past ten months,” Ms Davies said.
“We do have concerns as to how the situation has emerged, and why we are faced with lockdown and restrictions that could have potentially been avoided, and we call on the Premier to be open and honest with the people of Western Australia as they review what happened.
“After months of the Premier saying that the protocols that have been put in place would keep us safe we are now faced with a very serious situation – and the public deserves answers.”
She said there had been many questions raised in relation to the sudden lockdown, including why access to an intrastate G2G Pass was not available when the restrictions were introduced given there had been assurances that plans were in place to deal with outbreaks of this nature.
“Many residents were caught on the hop yesterday as they had essential travel planned between the lockdown region and their home, only to find the G2G Pass had not been updated to cater for intrastate travel exemptions,” she said.
“While I appreciate the Police Commissioner has resolved to update the G2G app today, surely this is something that could’ve been prepared in readiness for an outbreak.”
Ms Davies said many regional residents had returned to their homes from areas now under lockdown in recent days and were seeking advice on what actions they must undertake.
“With school returning this week, many regional families were in Perth dropping children at boarding facilities, or on holiday and have been left unsure of their requirements and nervous of putting their communities at risk,” she said.
“Local groups, communities and local government are looking for guidance as to whether public events should proceed in the areas not in lock down because of the risk of people that have returned from Perth, Peel and the South West in recent days may be in attendance.”
Ms Davies said The Nationals had once again asked the Premier to provide clear and detailed advice to regional communities as to the preparedness of the country health system to cope with an outbreak.
“Is there an adequate stock of protective equipment, including masks, in our regional areas for frontline staff and for personal use, are our COVID-19 clinics and hospitals resourced to meet a surge in testing or positive cases – these are the assurances we need,” she said.