02/03/2021 - 14:30

Border plan a taste of what's to come: Kirkup

02/03/2021 - 14:30

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Opposition leader Zak Kirkup has slammed the Premier’s insinuation that the state’s border controls could remain beyond the pandemic, labelling it a taste of what’s to come.

Border plan a taste of what's to come: Kirkup
Opposition leader Zak Kirkup said the comments were "extraordinary", and questioned where the advice had come from. Photo: Jesinta Burton

Opposition leader Zak Kirkup has slammed the Premier’s insinuation that the state’s border controls could remain beyond the pandemic, labelling it an “immense overreach” and a taste of what’s to come.

Earlier today, Premier Mark McGowan credited the state border controls with having curbed the flow of methamphetamine into Western Australia and would not rule out continuing vehicle searches and border tracking beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

He told reporters that he planned to continue his discussions with the police commissioner regarding what the state government could do to protect the state from the scourge of meth and other drugs, if re-elected.

"It's actually been remarkable, the reduction in drug usage in Western Australia, and that's because of the measures we've put in place," he said.

“And that is a good outcome.

"If staff are there checking for bananas, tomatoes and avocados, I don't think it's unreasonable to have other staff there checking and stopping meth, heroin and cocaine.”

While supportive of the state’s response to COVID-19, Mr Kirkup said maintaining the measures beyond the pandemic was extreme and questioned where the Premier’s advice had come from.

He said he thought it was "extraordinary" that the Premier was suggesting that Western Australians trying to return home or visiting the state should be treated in the same way as drug traffickers.

“If this advice was not backed up by the [police] commissioner, then I’m very interested to understand why the Premier has made this announcement today," he said.

“The best way to respond to meth is to make sure that there are stronger laws, more police, and effective operations in place to seize drugs on our streets.

“I think that goes against everything we stand for as Australians and something I don’t support.

“I think all of us understand that there needs to be strong arrangements in place to stop drugs coming into Western Australia, but the Premier has effectively suggested that beyond COVID-19, he wants to track everyone coming into the state.

“This has been announced just 11 days before the election. How many more of these ideas does Labor have?”

Mr Kirkup said he believed the border controls applied during the pandemic should be lifted as soon as the state’s chief health officer advises that they are no longer required.

At a press conference this afternoon, Mr McGowan clarified that he did not intend to extend the use of the G2G pass and was simply highlighting the benefits of having police presence and additional check points at Kununurra and Eucla in preventing the flow of drugs into WA.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options