Uptick in international arrivals prompts State to urge Federal Government to enforce cap on international arrivals into WA.
Mr McGowan said there had been a “noticeable increase” in international arrivals that was causing concern.
“Western Australia continues to lead the country and position itself as a safe haven from COVID-19, new arrivals into Western Australia have started to rise,” he said.
“That’s why the State has now formally requested the federal Government to put a cap on international arrivals into Perth airport. I’ve asked the Prime Minister to put a cap on WA, something in the vicinity of one flight per three days. We need to slow the flow of arrivals.”
Mr McGowan said WA had drafted urgent legislation that will force any returning traveller, Western Australian or not, to pay for their 14 days of hotel quarantine.
He also asked for the Prime Minister to withdraw his support from Clive Palmer’s High Court challenge to WA’s hard border closure.
“It does not make sense for the Federal Government to be supporting a border closure between New South Wales and Victoria but on the other hand challenging Western Australia’s border in the High Court of Australia,” he said.
“Quite frankly, the legal challenge, and especially the Commonwealth involvement in it, has now become completely ridiculous.”
Clive Palmer’s court battle a “threat” to WA
The billionaire and leader of the United Australia Party last month entered a legal battle over the closure of borders he called “unconstitutional”.
His bid to have them forcibly re-opened were backed by the Attorney General Christian Porter, who said he would assist by looking at how the closures could be in breach of the constitution.
The Federal Court hearing on the legal battle is set for July 13, but may be adjourned for up to two weeks.
International travel uptick
Mr McGowan said his “biggest concern” was the increase in travellers coming through Perth airport.
“We’re finding increasingly people from overseas are testing positive, and that puts pressure on our quarantine and our hospitals,” he said.
“Just the smallest increase in arrivals now needs to be taken seriously,” he said.
”For example, yesterday three international flights in three domestic flights landed in Perth. The increase in arrivals does put pressure on how we manage our border controls and other quarantine systems.
“Perth is the Western Gateway to Australia, and over the last week we have seen a slow increase in arrivals into Perth. We are not at the level we were out back in March or April. However, it is a noticeable increase.”
Perth new coronavirus cases all returned travellers
Mr McGowan confirmed three new cases were confirmed overnight, bringing the State’s total to 621, with 12 cases still active.
“Two of them (new cases) are interstate residents who travelled from Indonesia, and the third is a West Australian on a flight from Zohar,” he said.
“Contact tracing is under way on both these flights to identify close contacts of the newly diagnosed cases.
“It’s important to note that all these passengers are also in hotel quarantine. The state’s total number of cases now sits at 621.”
Victorian border should have been closed already
While sympathising with Victoria, Mr McGowan said the decision to close its border with NSW was “long overdue”.
“That is a smart and correct decision,” he said.
“Western Australia is here to help where we can. We have sent over one of our best public health professionals, and we have a team of people working from Perth helping with contact tracing in Victoria.”
More Perth Coronavirus coverage on SoPerth.com.au.