WA Premier calls for flight cap, urges PM to withdraw support of Clive Palmer's High Court challenge

WA Premier calls for flight cap, urges PM to withdraw support of Clive Palmer's High Court challenge

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has formally requested a cap on international arrivals into Perth Airport of one flight every three days, after the state reported three new cases of COVID-19 from return travellers overnight.

McGowan said the flow of arrivals needed to be slowed down so quarantine could be managed to the highest possible standard.

"In addition, Cabinet today approved the drafting of urgent legislation that will force any returning traveller - Western Australian or not - to pay for their 14 days of hotel quarantine," he said.

"This legislation will be drafted as quickly as possible. Parliament isn't due to return until mid-August though, so once the bill is ready and approved we will recall Parliament if necessary for a special sitting to get this legislation through quickly."

The WA Premier also highlighted the success of his state's hard border policy, which has meant there has not been a community-based infection since 11 April, or 86 days ago.

But he noted that border was under threat from a High Court challenge led by Clive Palmer, which is being supported by the Federal Government.

"The announcement today between New South Wales and Victoria to close their borders is one that I support, but the idea our hard border is being challenged in the High Court is now clearly flawed and completely unnecessary," he said.

"The High Court challenge consumes the resources of many of our top public servants from our Solicitor General, our Chief Health Officer and our Police Commissioner.

McGowan said it did not make sense for the Federal Government to support a border closure between Victoria and New South Wales, but on the other hand challenge Western Australia's hard border. 

"In light of the new New South Wales-Victoria border closure today, I've asked the Prime Minister to formally withdraw their support from Clive Palmer's High Court challenge," he said.

"Quite frankly, the legal challenge and especially the Commonwealth's involvement in it has now become completely ridiculous. This nonsense has to stop.

"Western Australia's island within an island strategy has been an integral part of our success. As a result, WA is the most economically free and active state in Australia due to our relaxed restrictions, but we cannot get complacent."

Photo, Andrew Owens via Wikimedia Creative Commons

Updated at 3:16pm AEST on 6 July 2020.

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