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.”