WA's coronavirus state of emergency may last all year as phase five restrictions remain in question
Jul 23, 2020
By Alisha O'Flaherty
Western Australia could be in a state of emergency until the end of the year, according to Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, who has warned the Victorian situation could "easily" be replicated in Perth if people are not vigilant.
A state of emergency has been in place in WA since mid-March and can be reinstated every fortnight.
It grants the WA Government, the Police Commissioner and the Chief Health Officer the power to enforce quarantine and self-isolation measures.
"We've got to plan, I think, for months ahead at the moment, and whether it extends beyond a year I can't say," Commissioner Dawson told 6PR radio.
"I don't have a crystal ball but at the moment, I can't see much happening to lessen the current state that we're in for the rest of this year.
"But again, I've got to assess that every fortnight."
Commissioner Dawson said the current situation in Victoria and New South Wales had shown the community could not be "apathetic".
"You've seen other places where masks are coming in as compulsory — and we're not at that stage and we take advice, we discussed that this morning.
"[The Chief Health Officer's] advice to us at the moment is we're not at that point. If we need to as a preventative measure, he'll give us that advice."
Questions over August easing of restrictions
The WA Government also indicated plans to move towards a further relaxation of WA's COVID-19 restrictions may again be delayed because of the "grave" situation in Victoria.
The move to phase five restrictions would see the 2-square metre rule removed and the 50 per cent capacity limit covering stadiums and arenas scrapped.
He said while he expected to continue to see "startling" data into 2021, the mining industry had been an "extraordinary bright spot" across Australia.
"I don't think there's any doubt that Western Australia's performance, primarily led by our world-class mining sector, has saved Josh Frydenberg from what would have been a much more dire set of figures, both in respect of the operating deficit and also in respect of unemployment rate," he said.
Mr Wyatt said the iron ore price had remained "stubbornly high" on the back of Chinese demand and Brazil's struggles with coronavirus.
"That has been good because ultimately every other revenue source that I have has declined, and you've seen since the mid-year review and today's economic update about $3 billion in GST written down across the forward estimates," he said.
"But the iron ore sector has been in rude health on the back of a very, very high iron ore price that has maintained that price for longer than I think most people expected."
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