Aviation

“NSW has done it”: WA Premier requests cap on international flight arrivals to reduce COVID-19 risk

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Western Australia’s Premier is seeking federal government approval to limit the number of international flights arriving in Perth.

Speaking to the press, Mark McGowan said he had requested flights to be limited to around “one flight per day” off the back of Victoria’s suspension of international arrivals, which came in a bid to relieve pressure on the state’s under-review hotel quarantine system.

However, such a move by Victoria, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has also placed greater pressure on Sydney Airport, prompting a cap on arrivals.

Premier McGowan said there had been a recent uptick in domestic and international arrivals at Perth Airport, adding WA currently had more than 1,100 people in quarantine across five city hotels, ABC News reported.

McGowan said WA had not recorded a case of community transmission since 11 April, and that his state was leading the country as a “safe haven” from the coronavirus.

“My biggest concern is … people coming from overseas, and the numbers and the pressure that puts on our hotels and our security arrangements,” he told the press.

“That is why I have written to the prime minister to ask that we have a cap on the number of flights coming into WA from overseas.

“NSW has done it – that is the other major gateway city of Australia – and you’ve got to understand these are Australians returning home.

“We need to slow down the flow so we can manage it appropriately.”

Premier McGowan also demanded that the federal government withdraw its support for Clive Palmer’s legal challenge to Western Australia’s hard border closure – a challenge which also includes the backing of state tourism operators.

According to ABC News, he said he had made the request in writing to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and also “contacted him personally”.

“Quite frankly, the legal challenge, and especially the Commonwealth’s involvement in it, has now become completely ridiculous this nonsense has to stop, and it has to stop now,” he said.

However, Federal Attorney General Christian Porter said the federal government did not commence the legal challenge to WA’s border restrictions and could not “simply cancel” it, according to ABC News.


Featured image source: ABC News

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