— Internet News

Peter Dutton hits back at West Australian Premier Mark McGowan over hotel quarantine criticism

He’s criticized Annastacia Palaszczuk in the past for her handling of COVID-19 outbreaks in his home state of Queensland; now Peter Dutton has turned his sights on the West Australian leader. WA Premier Mark McGowan has criticized the federal government for failing to provide better alternatives to hotel quarantine. Metropolitan Perth and the neighboring Peel region are currently in a three-day lockdown over COVID-19 cases linked to the Perth Mercure Hotel. Mr. McGowan said CBD hotels were not fit for purpose and defense facilities such as Curtin Air Base in Derby or immigration detention facilities on Christmas Island would be better.

But Mr. Dutton, the federal defense minister, 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 premiers agreed last year on medical advice to conduct the hotel quarantining the way they are doing.

Mr. McGowan said on Sunday the Commonwealth had agreed to his request to half the number of returned travelers to 512 per week for a least a month.

“If the Commonwealth cannot assist with proper quarantine facilities, I am reluctant to return to the full 1025 per week cap,” Mr. McGowan told reporters.

“That weekly number of returning residents cannot continue long term without proper Commonwealth quarantine facilities being used.”

No new locally-acquired cases were reported in WA on Sunday, but a new infection in a returned traveler in hotel quarantine.

However, more potential exposure sites have been added to the list.

“Right now, it’s too early to predict what will happen come Tuesday,” Mr. McGowan said, referring to when the lockdown is due to end.

“We need to see more testing completed.”

Despite the uncertainty caused by lockdowns nationwide and a slow vaccine rollout, Australians are snapping up half-price flights under a $1.2 billion package to help tourism bounce back from the pandemic.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says 600,000 flights have been booked in three weeks out of the 800,000 on offer.

“Australians are taking trips in large numbers with airlines reporting sales dwarfing previous records – our aviation industry is in a remarkable position compared to where it was just one year ago,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

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

Even so, Labor’s spokesman for the NDIS Bill Shorten is unhappy with the languid pace of vaccination at disability facilities, saying just 100 out of 6000 facilities have received their jabs.

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.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button