The Opposition has welcomed the State Government’s announcement for the safe re-opening of WA, but said it should have included a clear, set date to give businesses and communities certainty moving forward.
Opposition Leader Mia Davies said every other State and Territory has an exact date for when they will hit vaccination thresholds and re-open.
“The Premier has had nearly two years to prepare and plan to re-open Western Australia to the rest of the world, but what we see here is a skeleton of a roadmap,” Ms Davies said.
“Businesses around WA still have no clarity around what date they need to work towards to be prepared for the introduction of restrictions, and the potential introduction of capacity limits.
“We are competing with other states for staff, investment and visitation and the lack of a definitive date puts us on the back foot yet again.”
Ms Davies said vaccination rates for West Australians under 40 years old are short and remain concerningly low in areas like the Kimberley and Pilbara, so the Government will need to step up to boost accessibility.
“We welcome the Vaccine Commander indicating teams will go door-to-door in remote indigenous communities, the Government will need to turbo charge their efforts to overcome hesitancy and accessibility.
“The Government must do more to actively ramp up vaccination efforts in those remote towns and communities, rather than resorting to shutting off entire regions if thresholds are not met in time.”
Ms Davies also said an intensive health campaign must begin now to remind and re-educate the community on the importance of being vigilant with washing hands, using sanitiser and social distancing.
“WA has experienced remarkable freedoms, but the Government now has a responsibility to encourage people to keep up COVID-19 health measures including continuing to check in with the SafeWA app.
“Our message is to get vaccinated as soon as possible and start practicing the COVID hygiene, so we are ready when borders finally come down.”