Dr David Honey MLA, Leader of the WA Liberals, said Premier McGowan’s lack of leadership and the mismanagement by the Health Ministers he has appointed is very disappointing.
“It is now five years under WA Labor, two elections, two years of Covid free, lessons able to be learned from the rest of Australia and the world and with a massive double majority in Parliament that means he can do what he wants when he wants, so there really is no explanation for the Premier’s chaos and mess.
“Now we have no reopening date at all and no clarity for families, individuals, business, universities, schools, health workers or anyone else about what will be the rules, system and care going forward.
“The delay in re-opening WA has been expected by many. It has been left until now, after so much concern from so many for two years and now pouring in an extra $3.2 billion since mid-December to try to fix the McGowan-Cook mess under new Health Minister Sanderson. This is proof of a lack of leadership from McGowan.
“What we’ve been hearing is the Premier repeatedly saying that February 5th was locked in with the Health Minister insisting our State was “ready to reopen”. This backflip by McGowan is proof of the exact opposite.
“The State Government last night proved to have little faith in their own ability to govern. Instead of owning up to it months ago, Labor has strung Western Australians along and perpetuated the lie that they had prepared the State adequately for reopening”, said Dr Honey.
While methods to battle COVID in the community are being developed worldwide, the Premier chose to shun them, putting in place his own medical assessment of what was best for WA.
“The Premier is keen to blame to rise of the Omicron for the delay, though the reality Is that the Delta variant would have had a similar impact on our hospitals.
“Booster shots are a vital part of protecting the population, it was proven months ago that vaccine effectiveness diminishes over a certain period after the second dose. Yet the Premier waited, again until the 11th hour to not only stress the importance of the third (or booster) dose but to blame Western Australian’s low booster rates as a reason for the hard border now remaining.
As well as the Premier’s ban on RAT tests up until just over a week ago followed by complaints the Commonwealth Government hadn’t done enough to supply his lagging Government, this was simply his Government’s failure to prepare.
“Closing the border was the Premier’s one trick-pony move and an easy trick it is. The real work was preparing our State to transition to living with COVID, which work obviously was not done in the two years of preparation time he was gifted”, said Dr Honey.