08/01/2021 - 14:30

Opposition backs state's border closure

08/01/2021 - 14:30

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Opposition leader Zak Kirkup has backed the state government's decision to close the border to Queensland by midnight tonight.

Zak Kirkup has backed the state government's decision to close the state's border to Queensland. Photo: Jordan Murray

Opposition leader Zak Kirkup has backed the state government's decision to close the border to Queensland by midnight tonight.

Earlier today, Premier Mark McGowan announced that WA would close its border to Queensland from midnight tonight and that all 7500 travellers that had arrived in the state since January 2 would now be required to self-isolate and undergo COVID testing.

Under the changes, the 1400 passengers onboard the nine flights due to arrive at Perth Airport from Queensland today will be tested on arrival before being required to self-quarantine.

Mr Kirkup said the decisions made by the government today were ones that the Liberal Party fully supported and endorsed, and offered to support the government's efforts.

He also revealed that the decision was one that affected him personally as his parents had recently travelled to Queensland to support a family member and would now have to apply to return under the new border conditions.

"We need to do everything we can to keep our state safe, looking after our frontline workers," he said.

"This means we can help keep Western Australians safe from COVID-19 and anything we can do to help constructively work with the government to support its efforts, we will do whatever it takes.

"It's about keeping the state safe, looking after our frontline health workers and looking out for each other.

"The decisions made by the national cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, are ones that we welcome."

But Mr Kirkup said he would like to see improvements in communication, including push notifications via the G2G app, and make sure there weren't gaps in the state's health system.

Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader in Health Tony Krsticevic echoed his sentiments, but called on the state government to invest more money into the state's health system and initiate an independent inquiry to address "cracks" emerging in the current system.

"On a regular basis now, we have seen cracks emerging in our COVID preparedness," he said.

"There have been a number of hotel breaches and a range of other issues and I would call for an independent inquiry.

"We have had a number of health professionals indicate that they're overworked and underresourced, that they're bursting at the seams.

"We know that health workers continue to come out and say they aren't being given the right PPE, they aren't being given the right support and training.

"There is a lot of work that needs to be done and, at a time when we have a billion dollar surplus, our Premier should be investing more money into our healthcare system to make sure this pandemic doesn't take a foothold."

The news comes amid confirmation from chief health officer Dr Andy Robertson that Western Australia has recorded four cases of the UK variant strain of the virus, which is reportedly up to 70 per cent more contagious and has sent Britain into its third lockdown.

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