Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Martin Aldridge MLC has called on the Government to commit to an independent inquiry into the controversial G2G pass system.
Mr Aldridge said remarks made by the Premier in Parliament called into question the fairness and integrity of the G2G system and prompted the need for a review.
“The Premier outlined almost 300 instances where Opposition MPs requested guidance or a review into G2G applications on behalf of our constituents, including 22 requests stemming from my office,” Mr Aldridge said.
“I am concerned personal information provided to the Police Minister to help progress G2G applications may have been shared with the Premier’s office.
“Many constituents faced difficult and often tragic circumstances when seeking to enter WA, and this information is shared in good faith with the Minister when seeking exemptions on compassionate grounds.
“If private and sensitive information was shared between the Police Minister and the Premier for political purposes, it would shatter the integrity of a system which every West Australian relied upon during the pandemic.
“I also note that despite repeated requests from the Opposition and the media, the Premier has refused to provide the same level of detail around the number of G2G inquiries made by his own Government Ministers and MPs, which throws his integrity into question.”
From January to August 2021, over 1 million G2G applications were submitted, with almost 160,000 of these not approved, placing many West Australians in a difficult situation.
“Despite calls from the Opposition, there was no appeals process for applicants, and very little information was provided into why an application was rejected, prompting individuals to reach out to local MPs for support and advice,” Mr Aldridge said.
Mr Aldridge said an independent review into the G2G system was also pertinent in the event a similar system was needed in the future.
“CSIRO states the frequency of COVID-like outbreaks will increase, and it would be a missed opportunity if we did not evaluate the effectiveness of the G2G system so it can be improved upon in the event it is needed again.
“An independent inquiry should go beyond allegations of Labor misconduct and consider matters such as WA Police resourcing and staffing, the lack of an appeals process, and rigid exemption categories which locked out essential workers and separated families.
“While the public accepts that not every decision made during COVID-19 was perfect, failing to review and learn from mistakes downplays the extraordinary impact the G2G system and the hard border arrangements had on virtually every West Australian,” Mr Aldridge said.