Prime Minister Mark McGowan has withdrawn a suggestion that authorities could continue prosecuting anyone entering WA following the COVID-19 pandemic

Mr McGowan was forced to clarify his position on Tuesday after making comments on an earlier election campaign not ruling out continued use of the G2G passport as a weapon against drug imports

When asked whether arriving travelers would have to continue using the G2G pass, the Prime Minister said he could not predict exactly what restrictions might still exist

Opposition leader Zak Kirkup accused Mr McGowan of “immense overreach,” suggesting that his rival was fueling secessionist sentiments

The Prime Minister later used another campaign event in Kalgoorlie to rule out the need for arriving travelers to share their details beyond the pandemic

“When we talk about expanding the system, it’s about extending border controls to prevent the flow of meth, heroin and cocaine from the labs in the east into WA,” he told reporters

The slip came after Mr McGowan came before the elections on Jan. March had an early vote in his constituency in Rockingham

Polls predict a Labor Party landslide that could reduce the beleaguered Liberals to a handful of seats

As WA’s harsh border regime resulted in a dramatic drop in methamphetamine imports, McGowan pointed to the continued use of vehicle searches

He noted that travelers crossing the border between Eucla and Kununurra had already been subjected to vehicle checks to prevent them from bringing in fresh fruit and vegetables

“When employees are looking for bananas, tomatoes and avocados there, I do not think it inappropriate for other employees to check and stop meth, heroin and cocaine,” said the Prime Minister

“Meth is a threat to human health, and we’ve cut meth use by about 25 percent Obviously some of the things we introduced worked “

Mr Kirkup said the “extraordinary” plan to continue the border restrictions shows the importance of maintaining a viable liberal opposition

“I think that’s an immense Labor Party reach and a taste of what will come if Labor gets too much control,” he said

“Today the prime minister announces he wants to continue the hard line post COVID-19 Tomorrow you might start patting every person who comes into the state At the end of the week it could be a stripe search “

Mr Kirkup stopped calling the idea that of a police state but suggested that his rival fueled secessionist sentiments

“The best way to respond to meth is to make sure there are stricter laws, more police and effective operations to seize drugs on our streets. You can’t continue every traveler who comes to WA treat like a meth dealer “

WA did not report any new COVID-19 cases overnight. Almost 3,000 people received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine

Travelers from Victoria must quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival This measure will be reviewed by the Chief Health Officer in the coming days

Mark McGowan

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