— Internet News

Mark McGowan wrong on air base quarantine, ‘made a mistake’ with Mercure Hotel, says Peter Dutton

Defence Minister Peter Dutton has hit back at Mark McGowan after the West Australian premier criticized the federal government for failing to provide better alternatives to hotel quarantine. Metropolitan Perth and the neighboring Peel region are in a three-day lockdown after COVID-19 cases linked to the Perth Mercure Hotel. Mr. McGowan said CBD hotels were unsuitable and that defense facilities such as Curtin Air Base in Derby or immigration detention facilities on Christmas Island would be better.

But Mr. Dutton disagrees.

“I’d love to tell you that air bases or the Christmas Island facility are fit for purpose, but it is not,” he told ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.

“Mark McGowan has made a mistake with the Mercure Hotel. Nobody is being critical of him for that. He doesn’t need to be defensive. He doesn’t want to be the next Dan Andrews where they had significant problems,” he added, referring to Victoria’s extended lockdown last year.

He said the Commonwealth would work with Mr. McGowan to move away from the Mercure Hotel.

“There are seven or eight, nine hotels that are working perfectly fine in WA at the moment, as he pointed out in his own words,” Mr. Dutton said.

Genomic testing confirmed the virus had spread in the corridors of the Mercure from a couple who had returned from India. A pregnant mother and her four-year-old daughter, who stayed across the hall, tested positive and remained in quarantine at the hotel.

Their positive tests prompted WA health authorities on April 21 to track down a man who had stayed adjacent to the Indian couple but had since flown to Melbourne.

Mark McGowan

He was then tested and went into Melbourne hotel quarantine, returning a positive test result on Friday.

After exiting quarantine, his five-day visit in Perth led to two community cases – a female friend he stayed with and a man who dined near the pair at a restaurant.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca shots will be available for people over 50 at state and territory vaccination centers and respiratory clinics from May 3 before being sent to all GPs from May 17.

Even so, Labor’s spokesman for the NDIS is unhappy with the extremely slow pace of vaccination at disability facilities, saying just 100 out of 6,000 facilities have received their jabs.

“The federal government got one job in 2021, to roll out the vaccine so that life can get back to normal,” Mr. Shorten told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

“What have they been doing for the last 12 months? How can 100 countries have done better than Australia.”

Mr. Shorten’s home state of Victoria reported no new locally-acquired cases on Sunday – an encouraging result for the state after the infected man traveled from Perth to Melbourne.

States and territories have been taking precautions against travelers from Perth and Peel since April 17, including Queensland, which has closed its border to anyone from a WA hotspot.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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