The Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Small Business says the Premier has no choice but to set and announce a threshold of “a very high COVID caseload” and a date for his transition to opening our State, and to link the two.
“Business is suffering with uncertainty and unclear rules imposed by the McGowan Government, and they need certainty and consistency,” said Dr Thomas.
“In recent weeks, the Premier has backflipped on the opening date, isolation rules, entry for international students (three times) and compliance regimes for the vaccine mandates. It has to end.
“It may suit the Premier to change the rules at his own whim; it probably makes him feel powerful. However, it is toxic to the business environment and does not help our State.
“The first and most important step is to set an opening date and ‘high caseload threshold’ and then to combine the two.
Dr Thomas said that the caseload numbers would inevitably affect the opening date, and therefore combined thresholds were necessary.
“If caseload numbers surge soon, the opening date is a moot point – it might as well happen immediately,” said Dr Thomas.
“If the inevitable surge in numbers occurs in a couple of months, third dose vaccination protection will be starting to wane and the delay in opening will cause more harm than good.
“These plans should be obvious so they should be publicly available. If they have not already been written the Government has been derelict in its duty to prepare.
“It is time for the Premier to stop politicising the state’s COVID transition plan, and to outline a proper plan with real thresholds.
“I know the Cabinet doesn’t have anybody formally trained in epidemiology, but the need to link the date and caseload threshold should be obvious to everyone.”
Dr Thomas said the compliance regime for mandatory vaccines was still confusing business and industry across the state, and that even McGowan Government Ministers seemed confused.
“If his own Minister’s can’t explain enforcement and compliance, what hope does the business community have,” said Dr Thomas.