WA's border opening delay 'disappoints' employers

Even the state's tourism official calls the move 'horrendous'

WA's border opening delay 'disappoints' employers

Last week, WA Premier Mark McGowan announced that the state’s border's planned reopening on 5 February would be “delayed indefinitely,” a move that “disappointed” both businesses and tourism authorities.

During McGowan’s press conference, he said the delay was due to the “escalating health risks posed by the Omicron COVID-19 variant,” but “a new date would be considered during the next month,” ABC News reported. Certain travel conditions are still expected to be announced on 5 February, including a list of travel exemptions. 

"Unfortunately, the world changed in December - Omicron arrived. [It’s] a whole new ball game,” McGowan said. He also said he’s aware that holiday plans and family gatherings will be “disrupted” by the delay.

"If we proceeded with the original plan, we would be deliberately seeding thousands upon thousands of COVID cases into WA and at this point in time that is not what I am going to do.”

"It would be reckless and irresponsible to open up now, I can't do it," McGowan added.

In the same report, WA Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said the border reopening delay is “devastating,” adding that tourism businesses waited for two years to welcome back guests, “we now have no date, no plan and no future for the tourism industry," Hall said.

"Most tourism businesses rely on international and interstate guests and most businesses will pay for this delay. It is horrendous and there appears to be no end to it," Hall added.

Meanwhile, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s chief executive Andrew McKellar called the news “disappointing.”

“From a community standpoint, from a business and economic standpoint, this sends a very worrying signal.”

“We really think that once you’ve announced a plan, do the preparations, get ready and implement them. I think to be constantly chopping and changing with now, no clear position on when that border will be reopened. I think it’s very disappointing, indeed,” McKellar said in an interview with NewsDay, Sky News.

Recent articles & video

What is the federal government's 'deregulation agenda'?

Casino worker wins $120K because she wasn't invited to work drinks

Western Australia reports 'best in the nation' jobs market

Executive coach reveals HR's secret weapon in the Great Resignation

Most Read Articles

Goldman Sachs gives its senior leaders uncapped leave

90% of female employees suffer from Imposter Syndrome

International HR Day: HR is burning out – it's time take a break