‘Border restrictions could stay in place post-Covid’

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WA border restrictions continue
Here to stay? Caravan queues at the WA border. PIC: ABC / Jarrod Lucas

With the vaccine starting to roll out across the country, there are high hopes that 2021 will see the Covid-19 pandemic controlled … but that doesn’t necessarily mean border restrictions will also become a thing of the past.

Just a year ago, it seemed unthinkable that states would physically bar visitors from other parts of the Australia from entering but, for much of the past 12 months, that once-bizarre concept has become the new normal.

Now, West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has indicated that he may actually consider extending the state’s ‘controlled border’ even when the coronavirus has been vanquished.

With WA going to the polls on March 13, the Premier has said border regulations could be used as ongoing way to slow drug importation.

Mr McGowan told the ABC that the importation of on methamphetamine importation into WA had slowed during the pandemic and speculated that this unexpected side effect could be a reason for ongoing border controls.

“We obviously have a significant reduction in meth usage in Western Australia, and part of that … is the border measures,” he said. “The Police Commissioner and I will continue to talk about what can be done to protect the state from the scourge of meth and other drugs … if necessary, we will look at measures we can bring in should we be re-elected.”

And Mr McGowan did not rule out keeping the current G2G pass system in place, which allows the government to track people who enter WA.

“I can’t predict exactly what it would be … our border at Eucla has slowed drug importation,” he told the ABC. “Obviously, if staff are there checking for bananas, tomatoes and avocados, I don’t think it is unreasonable to have other staff there checking for meth, heroin and cocaine.”

  • What do you think about the idea of some state border restrictions staying in place after the pandemic has ended? Comment below.
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27 Responses to ‘Border restrictions could stay in place post-Covid’

  1. Great idea with merit. Anything that’s reduces or stops drugs coming into WA is a huge plus for me. Would love to see increased penalties as well as mandatory Gaol time. It is time a serious approach is taken for this terrible scourge. And for civil libertarians, you come up with a better solution. No chance of that. And as for the Opposition leader in WA saying ” it treats every Aussie visiting WA as a meth trafficker”. Wrong Zac (again), You just don’t get it mate, our Premier is clearly serious about taking this sensible approach.

  2. Maybe they can be on the lookout for those backpackers that skip the state with outstanding fines..

    • WA Border control is specifically for people entering WA, not leaving WA. Anyhow, fine dodgers of the Backpacker variety are a small issue compared to the drug issue. The Premier has his priorities completely in the right order IMO.

  3. I think of he wants to do that, everybody, in the state as well, as coming to the state, should have a barcode, put on their wrists, or maybe an implant of some sort. So, when you go to the pub, you are scanned in, into a shopping scanned, going in government building scanned. Doctor, hospitals, scanned. Police pull you over scanned, and maybe even expect everybody, have a passpprt/visa to go to WA., If they do have a hard border permanently, then they no longer get federal government money, nor shares of GST. As a matter of fact, WA should be kicked to the wind, and be deleted from being reconised as an Australian state, or part of Australia. They will still be funded from China, though so , they wouldn’t lose out much, as China has a fair finger in the pie in WA as it is. and the new survaillance regime, they are wanting to implement would be already suited to China’s way of doing things.

    • Sounds like a supporter of illegal drug trafficking! An over dramatization of a serious issue IMO

    • We have tried to secede from the Commonwealth but no go.

    • “ Papers, show me your papers!” Sound familiar??
      How naive of the Premier to even think for one minute that border searches will stop drugs coming and going into and out of WA. The MO ( modus operandi) will have already changed. Maybe boats, push bikes, camels, helicopters, who knows? Do you really think the Mr Bigs are going to risk losing their stash in trucks again?

      The truck busts have occurred in WA and SA along main truck routes, due to the intel of various State Depts. Good work by the agencies. Ric is onto it, put a fence along the border and let them cede from Australia- bring back Prince Leonard and call it Huttland, problem solved.

    • You really are off the planet Ric Moffet

  4. Not to get shares of the gst would be a plus for WA seeing as we provide so much to the Eastern States economies and get a small return to keep those states afloat. Yep, happy for us to stop contributing 🙂

    • No can not let WA branch away
      The folks over there will die from boredom
      Most boring place in Australia. Been there done that place lived there 10 years. Not much to report on from over there

      • I must say, us West Aussies do get bored , especially listening to whinging Eastern Stater’s !! Oh, hang on , we don’t hear to many whinges about the gst being “leached” from WA 🙂

  5. Thats good Rick..!

  6. If they do keep closed borders, they would have to drop AUSTRALIA from their name surely, as they would no longer be part of the Commonwealth…may I suggest WEST NEWFOUNDLAND, then we then and we can get passports to visit and leave the place.
    I think that is the only way most that would make ‘West Australians’ happy.

  7. I think his heart is in the right place to stop the scourge of drug importation into W.A. , however I doubt his brain is onto this properly. The drugs will still flow into W.A. albeit by other methods, current or new ways.To minimize drug trafficking particularly of heavy drugs our police forces need to be much smarter in catching the top of the drugs chains… Mr or Miss BIG. I believe there are supposedly well heeled people of our society who are well involved… police forces need to concentrate more on the top end of the chain and lock them up fo 25 years minimem sentence… no choice … mandated sentencing.

  8. Ray sounds like an American citizen to me. The Yanks think that the USA is The World & poor old Ray thinks that WA is Australia. Dream on Ray, they may get a vaccine for that delusional thought.

    • Well Jack…W.A. is more of Australia then the other small states…

      • Might be in size, but not much else. A lot of nothing throughout the State.

  9. Which Ray are you refering to, there are 2 or maybe more on this thread?

  10. WA Premier to his cabinet, “We need to build a wall,
    a big wall”.

  11. Hoo…ray..!

  12. Rather interesting how many are quick to be critical of a plan (that has merit IMO) but lack the ability to come up with other idea’s / suggestions as to tackle such a serious issue. I believe all sensible thinking folks (particularly West Aussies) support the Premiers plan. I for one, hope he implements asap.

  13. This is a worrying trend of power play and I feel it is just one more restriction placed on our freedom. I escaped a communist country in 1954 to enjoy Australia’s democracy and am saddened by the gullibility of people in believing that these restrictions are all done ‘for our own good’. If you have always lived in a democratic country you may well believe that this is all above board, but controlling borders, tracking people, having lock downs and limiting travel when there are almost no virus cases is a blatant misuse of power and totally unnecessary.

    Daniel Andrews has made this power play into an art form envied by other premiers who now also want a piece of the pie. I just hope that it doesn’t deteriorate any further.

    • Yeah, just let everything run rampant, have no laws and let the undesirables take over. Yep, stop all border checks, remove those drug detection dogs from airports as well. We will always a have a good democracy, you all have your chance when it comes time to vote. It does appear from reports so far that the WA Premier does have good support.

      • As a Liberal voter, I agree with the way McGowan is running the state.
        If I travel to other parts of Australia and have to self isolate when I come back so be it. We have lived a fairly normal life here in WA during the Covid 19 pandemic. It seems to me it is mainly the Eastern States travellers who are whinging the loudest.

  14. I’m pretty sure the drug runners are quite resourceful and won’t let a road blockade stop their trade. They’ll simply land them on WA soil by boat somewhere along the thousands of kilometres of coastline and then distribute to their customers.
    Anyway, who honestly thinks all the drugs are currently only imported from the East by road/air now?

    • Sure, they are resourceful, but that does not detract from tackling each issue as it can be. Better than doing nothing. Also agree it is not only what is imported from the eastern states. That is another issue all together.It is simply a case of the Premier (and the WA police commissioner) identifying a possible aid to follow up on as a result of what has occurred during the border closures. Never give up, I say. Not like so many cynics who do not come up with other possible ideas/solutions.

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