The Opposition has called on the Premier to set a new date and new transition plan, including what rules and restrictions will be put in place for the community and businesses as we head towards reopening.
Opposition Leader Mia Davies said West Australians deserved to know what the plan was, and nothing had been offered as guidance for businesses and community organisations that needed to prepare for the inevitable rise in cases.
“The Premier has made the decision to postpone the transition date but has given the community no indication of what the new plan is for Western Australia,” Ms Davies said.
“It’s seriously concerning that we have COVID-19 spreading in the community already yet have been left in limbo without a plan.
“Without the definition of a close contact, isolation rules that might apply to workers, density limits and cleaning protocols for exposure sites, our State’s businesses, schools, service providers and the community are flying blind.
“The relief that many felt at the delay in opening will quickly dissolve into feelings of betrayal when we are faced with managing COVID-19 spread without clear guidelines, rules and procedures.”
Ms Davies said it was deeply concerning that the AMA were warning the delay could result in peak numbers of infections coinciding with the winter flu season when stretched hospitals were under most pressure.
“In particular, regional communities need to know how their health services are equipped to deal with critical cases, and how resources would be deployed to support those in remote parts of the State,” she said.
Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said the McGowan Government had two years to prepare the health system but instead has been caught out without a reopening plan.
“This was highlighted this week when nurses at Fiona Stanley Hospital raised alarm about responding to a COVID-19 patient with surgical masks instead of PPE as the Minister had claimed,” Ms Mettam said.
“For years, the Opposition has been highlighting the poor condition of our State’s hospitals, with hundreds of Code Yellows and record-high ambulance ramping reported in the past year alone.
“Rather than show leadership, the Premier has failed to invest some of the massive Budget surplus he has amassed into our under-resourced, understaffed and overworked health system.
“By delaying the re-opening date indefinitely, the Labor Government may have bought itself more time to develop the plans they failed to deliver, but it is Western Australians who will shoulder the burden after sacrificing so much.
“It is imperative the McGowan Government provide transparency and certainty to the Western Australian people as a matter of urgency.”