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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 306 asked in the Legislative Council on 1 April 2020 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon M.H. Roberts
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 1 April 2020

CORONAVIRUS — INTRASTATE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

306. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the Minister for Police:

I ask this question on behalf of Hon Colin Tincknell, who is on urgent parliamentary business.

I refer to the ban on travelling within the state, and note the reports that the WA Police Force would be setting up checkpoints on major roads to check that people are permitted to cross the regional borders.

(1) How will WA police officers be testing the claims of travellers who say that they have an exemption and are able to travel for work or other exempt purposes?

(2) How many police resources have been deployed to such checkpoints?

(3) How many arrests have been made to date for the offence of breaking the ban and crossing a regional border without a valid exemption?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following answer has been provided to me by the Minister for Police.

(1) On 27 March 2020, the Premier outlined that there are exemptions in the directive issued by the State Emergency Coordinator that will allow people to continue to travel for work, deliver freight, attend medical appointments and travel on compassionate grounds. The government urges all Western Australians to remain calm and take the time to ensure that they understand the new restrictions and the exemptions. People are encouraged, when possible, to assist police by preparing documentation, such as a letter, email or SMS from an employer, to support their legitimate travel. The state government is providing detailed information to the public via its own website, and a COVID-19 call centre is in the process of being established to assist the community in meeting their obligations under the current state of emergency.

(2)–(3) Due to the state of emergency and staff working on COVID-19 priorities, the Western Australia Police Force is unable to answer these questions in the time provided. The honourable member may wish to put the questions on notice.