Drive to reopen intrastate borders

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Vasse MLA Libby Mettam is pushing for the intrastate borders to be reopened
Camera IconVasse MLA Libby Mettam is pushing for the intrastate borders to be reopened Credit: Taelor Pelusey/Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Taelor Pelusey

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam says the State Government must commit to a plan for reopening the South West border to save the region’s economy.

Yesterday, the Liberal MP said expanded testing across the region and the improved resources for Capes hospitals made it viable to plan for the easing of travel restrictions.

“While it has been necessary, and the community understands the reasoning, we now need a plan to open our intrastate border, given the low rates of reported cases — otherwise a major health crisis will become a major economic crisis as well,” she said.

Although many local businesses supported the intrastate lockdown, operators this week said shops that were still open needed a lifeline before some closed permanently.

Australia Medical Association president Andrew Miller said he supported a plan to open intrastate borders if COVID-19 test rates increased. “We understand how much people are suffering and it does affect both their mental and physical health so we don’t want these regional borders to be enforced any longer than they need to be,” he said.

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said the economic consequences of COVID-19 could be felt for years but he was cautiously optimistic social restrictions within the region would be relaxed.

“I don’t think we should rush in, but our initial steps could be to lessen restrictions within the South West so that one to 10 people could visit our cellar doors and alfresco dining areas, allowing open air businesses to operate on a larger scale,” he said.

Accommodation providers hoped regional lockdowns would be relaxed next month to allow Perth travellers to visit.

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