Insidious way Mark McGowan is taking Western Australia back to Covid by handing cops sweeping new powers: ‘Once a dictator, always a dictator’
Western Australia is desperate to go back to how things were during the coronavirus pandemic as it reintroduces draconian Covid-style police checkpoints under the guise of cracking down on illegal drugs and bikies.
From later this year, visitors to Western Australia by road, air or sea will have to pass through police-manned barricades where vehicles can be searched.
The measures are part of a package of extraordinary powers being handed to police by Premier Mark McGowan under what are being called ‘meth buster’ laws.
The laws will be in place until at least 2028.
The West Australian government said police requested the move because during the pandemic period, meth use dropped by 51 per cent in Perth, and up to 73 per cent in regional areas.
‘This new law is going to make it tougher than ever for organised crime to bring drugs into Western Australia,’ Mr McGowan said.
Police Minister Paul Papalia said the state was effectively ‘creating a hard meth border’.
The phrase conjured up memories of the pandemic period when Western Australia’s ‘hard border’ effectively shut it off from the world for 697 days.
Mr Papalia said the laws particularly targeted bikie drug importation.
‘This really enables us to focus on disrupting and breaking the power the outlaw motorcycle gangs have on our communities,’ he said.
‘They (meth deliveries) come in from overseas, they come in from interstate, they’re delivered to Western Australia by Triads and Mafia and cartels overseas, and then they are distributed, predominantly in Australia by outlaw motorcycle gangs.’
However, not everyone agrees with the new border powers.
Nova newsreader and social commentator Michelle Stephenson was one to express her concerns.
‘If this doesn’t worry you, it should,’ the Western Australian native said.
Rebel News chief Avi Yemini labelled Mr McGowan a ‘dictator’ for bringing back the laws.
‘Mark McGowan is now bringing back pandemic-style powers for other uses indefinitely. Once a dictator, always a dictator.’
There will be 22 permanent police search areas around airports, ports, road and rail border crossings into Western Australian.
Roads out of the airport, ports and rail stations will have checkpoints where police will have the power to stop vehicles and search them using electronic wands and drug detection dogs.
There will be exemptions to the stop and search powers ‘for people engaging in certain activities’ although it is unclear what those are.
Despite WA police gaining powers that no other force in Australia has, the state government assured the public they would not be misused. HA….