Western Australia SLAMS its border shut to another state as it introduces even harsher border controls
Western Australia’s premier has introduced even harsher border controls, less than 24 hours after outlining a grand plan to reconnect with the world.
Premier Mark McGowan is stopping almost all travel from South Australia, as the state recorded 18 new Covid cases on Thursday, its largest single-day tally for more than a year.
The spike in cases come nine days after South Australia opened borders to fully vaccinated travellers from Victoria and NSW.
Western Australia’s new border restrictions were introduced late last night, and they ban all arrivals from South Australia, except for a small list of travellers.
Those exempt from the new border restrictions include certain government officials, military personal, and those granted a police exemption.
Authorities in the Western Australia government are also keeping a close watch on Queensland following the detection of a new local case in the Sunshine State.
‘We’re awaiting further advice on Queensland, it’s obviously not quite as urgent as South Australia,’ Mr McGowan told reporters on Thursday.
West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has flagged tougher border restrictions with South Australia
Queensland and Tasmania are the only states not subject to travel restrictions in Western Australia, which has largely kept visitors out for more than 18 months.
The premier on Wednesday outlined a $185 million plan to reconnect Western Australia to the world once state borders reopen in late January or early February.
Having faced strong criticism from airlines over its border regime, the government will spend $65 million on re-establishing pre-COVID flight routes to Perth and targeting new direct flights to Germany, India, China and Vietnam.
A marketing campaign will promote Western Australia as a safe destination for tourists, international students and skilled workers.
Accommodation support will be offered to international students, while the government will also look to attract “blockbuster international events” to Perth.
The tourism sector copped a fresh blow on Thursday with Perth overlooked for hosting any Matildas soccer games during the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
A hometown fixture for superstar captain Sam Kerr would have been a major boon for tourism in WA but the national team will instead play its fixtures in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Perth also missed a knockout game with all its five fixtures coming in the group stage.
‘I’d love to have every single game being played in Perth. But being a fan of the World Cup … the best games are usually the early games,’ Sports Minister Tony Buti said.
Perth also looks increasingly certain to lose hosting rights for the fifth Ashes Test in January due to border complications, with Hobart looming as the replacement.
The reopening of state borders is expected to align with Western Australia achieving 90 per cent full vaccination. A firm date is set to be announced sometime after next Friday’s national cabinet meeting.
Perth Airport said the government’s Reconnect Western Australia package was a down-payment on rebuilding the hard-hit aviation, tourism and international education sectors.
‘This package is a great start to what will be a big re-build challenge,’ chief executive Kevin Brown said.
‘We are in a race with every other Australian state and with other destinations in the Asia region, who are all working to attract international airline capacity.’