All remote communities put in lockdownVicki Sly
The WA government has confirmed it is putting all of the state’s Aboriginal communities into lockdown and it will make it illegal for anyone but essential staff and people with permission to enter OR exit Aboriginal communities.
The rules will be legally enforceable and are aimed at stopping the spread of Coronavirus into the communities, which have limited health services and a high number of vulnerable people.
The government’s statement, released yesterday afternoon, says exemptions will include access for medical reasons, emergencies, obtaining essential services and supplies, and ensuring food security.
It says the ‘directions’ will be supported by Remote Community Pandemic Plans which will be developed in partnership with community leaders.
Minister Ben Wyatt said, “These Directions are designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 to residents in remote Aboriginal communities.
“The safest place for Aboriginal Western Australians during these times is in their communities.
“For those people who are currently away from their communities, the Government will be working with community leaders on plans to manage when and how those people can return home.
“I again encourage all Western Australians to continue to observe appropriate social distancing measures. Unfortunately, this includes no longer gathering in large groups, even for funerals.”
Those who breach the lockdowns could face a $50,000 fine.
WA Government’s New Directions to protect remote Aboriginal Communities from COVID-19 can be found here. – 19 March 2020
The Remote Aboriginal Communities Directions from the State Emergency Coordinator and Commission of Police can be found here. – 18 March 2020