04/02/2021 - 13:56

Chaos, confusion: Kirkup demands clarity

04/02/2021 - 13:56

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Opposition leader Zak Kirkup has demanded the state government reveal how it plans to ease the restrictions beyond tomorrow, saying the lack of clarity had caused chaos and confusion.

Chaos, confusion: Kirkup demands clarity
Zak Kirkup demands clarity over the easing of lockdown restrictions. Photo: Jesinta Burton

Opposition leader Zak Kirkup has demanded the state government reveal how it plans to ease the restrictions beyond tomorrow, saying the lack of clarity had caused chaos and confusion.

Western Australia has recorded no new locally acquired cases for the fourth consecutive day, prompting Premier Mark McGowan to convene a meeting of the State Disaster Council this evening to determine how the state should proceed when the lockdown ceases.

The details and outcome of that meeting are expected to be made public tomorrow.

The state has been in a five-day lockdown of the Perth metropolitan, Peel and South West regions since Sunday after a hotel security guard at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Perth's CBD contracted the highly contagious UK strain of COVID-19 from a returned overseas traveller.

But Mr Kirkup said the state’s sudden lockdown had had a significant impact on small businesses and the general public, and demanded the state reveal its plan beyond the lockdown today.

“This government has had 10 months to prepare for a lockdown in the case of an outbreak, but we’ve seen nothing but chaos and confusion,” he said.

“We are demanding that the state government reveal what the public can expect beyond tomorrow’s lockdown and that the state provide immediate support to small businesses affected by the lockdown to give them a degree of certainty.

“Beyond the lockdown, we expect there to be restrictions in place, but businesses need to know what that looks like. There are people with businesses and weddings scheduled for Saturday who need to know whether they can proceed.

“We know that small businesses are losing tens of thousands of dollars a day as a result of this lockdown and we’re demanding that the state government provide the sort of relief that has been provided in every other jurisdiction around the country.”

Mr Kirkup said he was also disappointed in the failure in the state’s hotel quarantine system, and the fact that there was still little known about exactly how the virus escaped the room of the returned traveller and was contracted by the security guard.

He also said he believed the public review into the state’s hotel quarantine system should be led by an independent authority.

In the past 48 hours, the Liberal Party has made a suite of demands; including that the state government establish a 24-hour COVID testing clinic, supply adequate PPE to frontline workers, prevent frontline workers from having second jobs, and have them masked at all times.

More to come.

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