Shadow Minister for Police Peter Katsambanis says a community outbreak of COVID-19 in Western Australia is inevitable unless the Labor Government fixes the gaping holes in its fragile hotel security system immediately.

A 53-year man will appear in court after he was found at a Northbridge hotel on Friday night after avoiding quarantine. The man, who arrived from Queensland earlier in the day without having applied to re-enter Western Australia, was taken to hospital after complaining he was ill but was left unsupervised following his treatment and managed to avoid being taken to hotel quarantine.

“This makes a mockery of Labor’s hard border, which the Premier continually gloats about, and once again highlight show woefully inadequate the government’s hotel quarantine security is,” Mr Katsambanis said.

“This man had no permission to get into Western Australia in the first place, yet he can stroll out of hospital and head to a packed pub, putting fellow patrons and the rest of our community at risk of contracting COVID-19.

“Why wasn’t he under police guard at all times? It is another serious breach of the government’s own border and security requirements. With so many people wilfully ignoring these requirements it is sheer luck that we have yet to have community transmission of COVID-19 in Western Australia.

“Unless the government fixes the gaping holes in its security arrangements we risk facing the same devastation that Victoria has suffered as a result of that State’s lax security.

“It is a disaster waiting to happen in WA purely because of the Labor Government’s refusal to hire enough police officers.

“Western Australia doesn’t have enough police to handle COVID-19 security measures and it doesn’t have enough police to keep the community safe from violent crime.

“How many of the 400 officers supposedly assigned to COVID-19 duties by the government have actually started doing this work? Either this hasn’t happened, or we need even more officers to be moved from the front line to COVID duties, which leaves our community exposed to the twin risk that we don’t have enough police to keep us COVID safe, or safe from violent criminals.

“The government needs to address this lack of police officers urgently because the results could be catastrophic.

“This latest breach shows why it is so important that the independent review committee the Liberals called for three weeks ago to determine whether Western Australia had the protocols in place to safeguard the community against an outbreak of COVID-19needs to be implemented as a matter of urgency.”

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