The Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Small Business Dr Steve Thomas MLC says that business and industry have been left to carry the can for compliance with the McGowan Government’s COVID rules, placing an unfair and onerous burden on them.

“Business is already struggling to understand the rules given the uncertainty the State Government is repeatedly delivering. It is completely unfair for the Government to abandon its role and make business and industry pick up that slack,” said Dr Thomas.

“The rules are made by Mark McGowan, but nobody appears to be enforcing them.”

WA Police have made it clear that they will not be checking on businesses to ensure compliance on issues like vaccine mandates, while the Government has admitted under questioning in Parliament that it is in fact the already overwhelmed WA Health Department
who are authorised to do so.

On the 9th of December 2021, the Government confirmed that 59 staff members of the Department of Health have been appointed to oversee the compliance of vaccination and they are empowered to view evidence of employee vaccination.

“These new staff allocations in the Health Department are tasked with advising all businesses in Western Australia and checking that all businesses are complying, but they don’t appear to be doing much which is unfair because business-people are contacting me with concerns that they are losing staff to businesses that don’t enforce the vaccine mandates.

“There appears to be no evidence of proper checking occurring. Instead, the Government is simply leaving business to comply or refuse to, and some businesses appear to be taking advantage of the slack oversight to flout the rules.

“The McGowan Government seems intent on punishing those who do the right thing and this inadvertently rewards those doing the wrong thing or cheating the system,” said Dr Thomas.

Leader of the WA Liberals, Dr David Honey MLA, said businesses should not have to fund this uncertainty of how to operate.

“It is widely known that there are worker shortages around the state, especially in construction, and it is outrageous that some non-compliant businesses seem to be gaining an advantage over those doing the right thing.

“My colleague, Hon Dr Steve Thomas MLC and I call on the State Government to outline immediately what is the compliance system, how is it being uniformly conducted for all WA businesses, and to ensure that those who are complying with McGowan’s ad hoc mandates are not being penalised by losing staff to those who are not,” said Dr Honey.