Shire tells visitors to return home
The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River has called for all non-residents to immediately leave the region.
The shire’s backpacker population, as well as a feared influx of Perth tourists, are emerging as a big problem as WA goes into increasing lockdown to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with a slew of questions from worried residents aired at Wednesday night’s council meeting, the Times has fielded reports about younger travellers ignoring social distancing requirements.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled tough new restrictions this week, with more to come, and house parties, beach gatherings and barbecues were now forbidden. Rangers would be enforcing the Shire instructions.
Shire president Ian Earl said the region’s facilities — particularly health care — “struggle to cope over Easter and school holiday at the best of times”.
“Perth has far more facilities than we do to support you in this crisis,” he said.
“To the tourists who are here or wanting to holiday in this great part of the world, please go home or do not come down.
“To the backpackers who are here, you need to go home while you can. As much as we have needed you in the past, for picking and pruning, now is not the time for you to be here.”
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