Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has hurriedly walked back a proposal to extend the state’s border controls beyond the COVID-19 crisis, as a controversy erupted ahead of next Saturday’s election.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has hurriedly walked back a proposal to extend the state's border controls beyond the COVID-19 crisis, as a controversy erupted ahead of next Saturday's election.
Earlier today, as Mr McGowan cast an early ballot, he said the state's hard border controls had helped reduce drug usage in Western Australia.
Measures such as vehicle searches, airport screenings, and the G2G pass are being considered by Police Commissioner Chris Dawson to help stem the flow of drugs into the state.
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"On the border, we have staff who check for bananas and avocados, surely we can have people there checking for meth as well," Mr McGowan said.
The backlash was swift and brutal, with online comments flooding social media condemning the notion.
Opposition leader Zak Kirkup, who previously conceded the Liberal Party will not be able to make up the ground to win next week's election, quickly latched on to the popular premier's comments.
"Suggesting we are going to go further than that and treat every person entering WA as a potential meth trafficker is an immense overreach and something that I don't support," he said.
The Business Council of Australia has said restrictions have already cost the Australian economy $170 billion.
Hours after his initial comments, Mr McGowan walked his comments back.
"Obviously the G2G pass will end when the pandemic ends, but what has been effective is having police at the Eucla and Kununarra border to check for meth and heroin," he said.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-wa-premier-mark-mcgowan-suggests-border-controls-could-stay-after-covid-19/12edc174-0778-4b78-a257-6317fa5a5da1