Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has been heavily criticised for exaggerating the threat of Covid to justify keeping his state locked away from the rest of the nation.
In addition to being criticised, McGowan has also been laughed at and forced to back down from a threat to wear full PPE to a virtual cabinet meeting.
The Western Australian Premier was mocked in print after his announcement to wear gloves, a mask, goggles, and a plastic suit in order to get around his state-based travel restrictions made the front cover of The West Australian under the headline, ‘Oh, For Mark’s Sake’.
McGowan’s bizarre idea originated after he was ordered to attend a defamation trial with billionaire and leader of the United Australia Party, Clive Palmer. Palmer is suing McGowan over the Premier’s comments that Palmer was the ‘enemy of Western Australia’ in 2020. McGowan is counter-suing, alleging that Palmer defamed him in interviews and that his comments ‘promoted or contributed' to the criminal behaviour aimed at the Premier during the pandemic.
“[Palmer] arouses this anger and this madness in our community that contributes – I don’t say it’s all him – but he contributes to these sorts of behaviours that I’ve never seen before,” said McGowan.
What Western Australia has also ‘never seen before’ are McGowan’s (often described as tyrannical) Covid health orders.
McGowan faced local outrage and protests after his strict Covid rules saw families separated from sick and dying loved ones, while people were fired from their jobs due to vaccine mandates. One young man lost his life after the extended border lockdowns left him isolated from his family in Victoria.
“I now have, outside my home, a police car parked 24 hours a day, I have police accompany me virtually anywhere I go. My entire family is under threat because of all this madness that people like Mr Palmer stir up that results in me having to close my electoral office because my staff are under threat.”
Ironically, members of the Western Australian police are locked in a court battle to stop members of the force being sacked due to McGowan’s health orders. On December 24, Senior Constable Ben Falconer won an injunction against the Western Australia Police Commissioner to prevent him and thirty other officers from being sacked while the challenge to vaccine mandates is underway.
Despite there being no requirement for hotel quarantine with domestic travel, McGowan insisted that he was going to endure seven days of hotel quarantine.
“I’ve decided that I’ll still do the quarantine period afterwards – even though I’m not required to – just to remove any argument that somehow this has been manipulated in my favour,” said McGowan.
After being shamed out of his idea of wearing full PPE for a video-link meeting, where the risk of Covid transmission is zero, McGowan still donned a mask.
As most of the country either reduces or drops Covid health orders entirely, McGowan has put the state under ‘level two’ restrictions.