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For up to date informaiton please visit australia.gov.au

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE

Australian governments are focused on working together to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to save lives.

It is likely that we will be living with this virus for at least six months, so social distancing measures to slow this virus down must be sustainable for at least that long to protect Australian lives, allow Australia to keep functioning and keep Australians in jobs.

The Prime Minister, state and territory Premiers and Chief Ministers met on 22 March 2020 as the National Cabinet and agreed to further actions to support social distancing measures already put in place and protect the Australian community from the spread of Coronavirus.

Practicing good hygiene and keeping a healthy physical distance between individuals is our most powerful weapon in fighting this virus and saving lives. The failure of some businesses and members of the public to do this puts people’s lives at risk.

As The Prime Minister has said, we need every Australian to do their bit to save the lives of other Australians.

If we want to slow the spread, everyone must implement appropriate social distancing in accordance with state and territory laws.

I will continue to provide you with regular updates but due to the changing nature of the situation I encourage everyone to regularly visit the Department of Health Website at: health.gov.au/health.gov.au

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or my office if we can be of assistance to you or your family.

By working together we will get through this!

Rick Wilson

Federal Member for O’Connor

IMPORTANT – WA BORDER CLOSURE 

The State Government has announced that Western Australia will implement new restrictions and arrival requirements to travel to Western Australia from other Australian States and Territories in response to COVID-19.

From 1.30pm on Tuesday, 24 March, Western Australia will implement strict border controls for all access points – by road, rail, air and sea.

Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate WILL be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.

This will be enacted through a formal declaration under the Emergency Management Act.

Exemptions will apply to essential services and essential workers, including health and emergency services, defence and policing, mining industry workforces, flight crews and freight of essential goods, via ports and trucks – with strict guidelines in place to monitor and manage this.

There will also be exemptions granted on compassionate grounds and where people live near border communities.

Arrivals will have to show they meet the essential arrival criteria to be granted an exemption.

Enforcement of the border restrictions will be rolled out with checkpoint stops.

This new direction will be enforceable by law with penalties of up to $50,000 for individuals.These new border controls are all about reducing the spread of COVID-19 in WA.

More information can be found herehttps://www.wa.gov.au/government/document-collections/coronavirus-covid-19-state-of-emergency-declarations

IMPORTANT – PLACES OF SOCIAL GATHERING

National Cabinet agreed to move to more widespread restrictions on social gatherings.

Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed to implement, through state and territory laws, new Stage 1 restrictions on social gatherings, to be reviewed on a monthly basis.

Australians should expect these measures to be in place for at least 6 months.

The following facilities will be restricted from opening from midday local time 23 March 2020:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).

Isolated remote community hubs are not included in these restrictions.

Other facilities are not impacted, but will be considered under stage 2 restrictions, if necessary.

These measures also apply to outdoor spaces associated with the above venues.

Leaders noted that these enhanced measures build on existing measures to slow the virus and save lives:

  • No non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people outside or more than 100 people inside.
  • All non-essential indoor gatherings of less than 100 people must have no more than one person per 4sqm. All Australians should expect their local businesses to be following this rule.
  • Where possible, keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others
  • Avoid non essential travel
  • Restrictions on entering aged care homes to protect older Australians

Leaders acknowledged that these new restrictions will change the way we live and expressed deep regret for those business owners and employees who will be impacted. The goal is to reduce the spread of the virus, to flatten the curve and to save the lives of fellow Australians.

State Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed they would give effect to these restrictions through their own legislative processes and make announcements accordingly.

Premiers and Chief Ministers will consider further Stage 2 restrictions if social distancing measures are not adhered to.

IMPORTANT – SCHOOLS

All leaders agreed that children should go to school today (Monday). Leaders agreed that we cannot see children lose an entire year of their education as a result of school closures caused by COVID-19.

Leaders committed to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advice that says that it is safe to keep schools open.

State Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed that schools will remain open through to the end of the current school terms to support students whose parents choose to send their children to school. Victoria’s school break will commence on Tuesday 24 March 2020.

All Leaders have committed to re-open schools at the end of the school break, subject to the advice of the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee.

If parents choose to keep their children home from school, parents must be responsible for the conduct of the children and to ensure they adhere to the social distancing arrangements in place. Parents must be aware that while the majority of adults who contract COVID-19 have mild forms of the virus, the elderly or those with co-morbidities can have more significant symptoms.

Schools will be encouraged to provide access to online and distance learning.

GOOD HYGIENE 

Practicing good hygiene and keeping a healthy physical distance between individuals is our most powerful weapon in fighting this virus and saving lives. The failure of some businesses and members of the public to do this puts people’s lives at risk.

Keep up-to-date with the latest updates by regularly visiting: health.gov.au  

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

The Government has announced its second, $66 billion Economic Response to the significant challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19.

This brings the total Government support for the Australian economy announced over the last week and a half to $189 billion or 9.7% of GDP.

The economic package has three parts involving ten separate measures.

The first part is designed to support households – be they workers, retirees or others on income support with an unprecedented enhancement of Australia’s safety net.

The second part of the package sees a massive scaling up of support for small and medium sized businesses.

The third part of the package will provide a regulatory shield for what are otherwise profitable and viable businesses that find themselves under severe financial pressure as a result of the coronavirus.

FIND THE FACTS

The Department of Health has provided a collection of resources for the general public and industry about COVID-19.

Please find some useful resources below:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – frequently asked questions

This information sheet answers common questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19) — including what it is, how it spreads, if you should get tested, who is most at risk and if you should attend public gatherings.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – what you need to know

This information sheet tells you what you need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19) — what it is, how it spreads, who is most at risk, and what you can do to help stop it spreading. Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Information on social distancing

This information sheet answers common questions about social distancing — including what it is, how to do it and why it’s important.

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MEET RICK

I was inspired to run for Parliament following my involvement in a decade-long campaign to deregulate the wheat industry, which brought about the end of the Australia Wheat Board’s monopoly.

“I stand proudly for the Liberal philosophy of free markets, vigorous competition, small government and individual responsibility. These are the principles that guide me in my life and in this place. My track record in public life shows clearly that I am prepared to stand up for those principles.”

“To the electors of O'Connor, I reiterate the commitment that I have made to work tirelessly on your behalf, to always be frank and honest about the challenges we face, and to work cooperatively and collaboratively to improve the lives of the people who live in the greatest part of the greatest nation on earth”

– Rick Wilson MP Maiden Speech.